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Full text of "History of McHenry County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns : educational, religious, civil, military, and political history : portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens, also a condensed History of Illinois .."

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155 &' 157 DEARBORN ST., CHICAGO. 





In presenting the History of McHeney County to its patrons, 
the publishers are confident that it will meet with a hearty recep- 
tion. No trouble nor expense has been spared to make it a com- 
plete and reliable history, and any errors or inaccuracies it may 
contain are due to the inability of the compilers to obtain the 
necessary information. We do not claim perfection for our book, 
for mistakes are common to the human family, and, although we 
have tried to be very vigilant, we do not doubt but the merciless 
critic may find something to fill his hungry soul with delight. 
Thanks are due to tbe members of the press for their kind loan of 
newspaper files, to public societies and churches for data furnished 
and to the citizens for their ready co-operation and interest taken 
in our work. It has been our aim to give at least the name, if not 
more extended notice, of every "old pioneer," and if any are omit- 
ted it is owing to the slight importance placed on the preservation 
of records in the early days of the county's history, and failure on 
the part of those having the knowledge to impart it to the compiler. 

In the spelling of proper names, we have found in this as in 
other counties, that members of a family disagree, and where such 
is the case who shall decide ? In the personal sketches we have, of 
course, followed the subject's "copy," but in the general history 
have tried to give the preference to the majority. Also, members 
of the same family oftentimes differ in regard to dates of settlement 
of the family in the county, births and deaths of the members of 
the family, and it will readily be seen that the historian and pub- 
lishers are unable to determine which is correct, this or that. 

The desire to meet a long-felt want on the part of many citizens 
for a history of the Prairie State induced us to add that feature to 



our prospectus, and accordingly we have met our obligation and 
have covered the ground in a condensed form, from the earliest 
settlement of the Territory of Illinois to the present day. 

Our book is not one to be read to-day and then laid on the shelf, 
but one that will grow in interest and importance as the years go 
by, each succeeding year making it more valuable; and, as other 
sources of information diminish, it will stand, a monument to tell 
to coming generations the noble part their forefathers took in the 
settlement of the grand old State of Illinois, and the populous and 
wealthy county of McHenry. 


Chicago, March, 1885. 




Monnd BuilderB— Galena Mounds— Large Cities 17-20 • 


An Original Race— Origin of Name— Illinois Confederacy— Starved Rock— Sacs and Poxes- 
Manners and Customs— Single Handed Combat with Indians 21-30 


Nicholas Perrot — Joliet and Marquette — La Salle's Explorations — Great Battle of the Illinois 
— Frenchmen Driven Away — Inhuman Butchery — Tonti Safe at Green Bay — La Salle's 
Return— La Salle's Assassination 31-43 


First Settlements— The Mississippi Company — The People Taxed— Arrival of John Law — 
Visions of Wealth— The Babble Burst 44-47 


Claimed by the English— General Clark's Exploits— He Takes Kaskaskia— Vincennes Capt- 
ured — The Hair-Buyer General — Advantageous Services of Clark 47-54 


County of Illinois— Ceded in 1784— Ordinance of 1787— Sympathy with Slavery— St. Clair, 
Governor of Northwestern Territory— Illinois Territory 55-59 

WAR OF 1812. 

The Outbreak — Massacre at Fort Dearborn — Slaughter of Prisoners — Kinzie Family Saved— 
Expedition Against the Indians— An Indian Killed— Town Burned— Peoria Burned— Ex- 
pedition up the Mississippi— A Desperate Fight 59-74 


Organization — Boundary Changed — First Constitution — Derivation of the Name Illinois — 
State Bank — LaFayette's Visit— Early Governors — Grammar and Cook Contrasted 74-83 


Winnebago War— John Reynolds Elected Governor— Black Hawk War— Stillman's Run— As- 
sault on Apple River Fort — Rock River Expedition — The Battle of Bad Axe — Incidents 
of the Battle— Black Hawk Captured— Sketch of Black Hawk— Black Hawk Set at Liber- 
ty—Death and Burial 83-95 

FROM 1834 TO 1842. 

Internal Improvements— Stupendous System of Improvements Inaugurated — Illinois and 
Michigan Canal— Panic Repudiation Advocated— Martyr for Liberty— Carlin Elected 
Governor 95-102 


Organized Bands— Ogle County the Favorite Field— Burning of Ogle County Court-House— 
Campbell Killed— The Murderers Shot 102-104 


" Latter Day Saints " — The Founder of Mormonism — Attempt to ArreBt Joe Smith— Origin 
of Polygamy — Joe Smith as a Tyrant-^Military Forces Assembling— Smith Arrested— 
Joe Smith and His Brother Killed— Consternation at Quincy — Various Depredations- 
Incendiarism — Making Preparation to Leave — The Battle of Nauvoo— Maltreatment of 
New Citizens — The Mormons Reach Salt Lake 104-118 




Battle of Buena Vista-Bravery of the Second Illinois-Saddest Event of the Battle-Victory 
for Our Army— Honored Names of this War uo-i** 


1?BBlinff at the South— Abraham Lincoln did not Seek the Preaidency— States Seceding -The 
Fee £°K at ;,S2„?„_n„ii fnr Troops Promptly Answered-A Vast Army Raised in 

Well as mrioUsm-Shermau's March to the Sea-Character ofAteftam Lincoln-The 
War Ended-The Union Reitored-Scbedule of Illinois Volunteers 1 2> 



Governors of Illinois-Lieutenant-Governors-Superintendents of Public Instrnclion-Treas- 
u™rs-Secretariee of State-Auditors-Unite<f States Senators-Representatives in Con-^ 


Introductory and Descriptive. 

The Importance of Local History-Scope of the following pages— Geography of Mc- 
Henry County-Original Area of the County-Present Extent-Climatic Featnree-Topog- 
riphy-Theories Con erning Prairies-Water Courses of th* County-Geological Feat- 
ures— Abundance of Drift Formation— Limited Exposure of Silurian Rocks— Clay and 
Peat 155 " 1M 


The Early Settlers. 

Aboriginal Inhabitants of Northern Illinois— Characteristics of the Different Tribes- 
Indian Titles and Their Extinguishment— Various Treaties— Final Treaty at Chicago in 
1833— The Dawn of Civilization— Gillilan, the First Settler in McHenry Couniy, 1864 - 
Early Centers of Settlement-Pioneer Life— The Log Cabin— Characteristics of tae Fio- 
neers— An Early Settler's Reminiscences 1M-18J 

Civil History. 


Origin of the County's Name— Establishment of McHenry County from Cook— Legisla- 
tive Commission— Selection of the County Seat— First Election— Commissioners' Court- 
Formation of Precincts and Road Districts— T ix and Toll Rates— Lake County Organ- 
ized—Precincts Re-formed— Township Organization— The Circuit Court— First County 
Buildings— Removal of the County Seat— New County Buildings— The Present Court- 
House and Jail— Provisions for Paupers— The County Farm— Items of Interest 184-^10 

Resources and Industries- 

-Official and Political History . 

McHenry County Industrially Considered— Agriculture— Advantages Afforded to Stock- 
raisers— The Beginning and Growth of the Cheese-Making Industry— The Dairy Interest 
—McHenry County Agricultural Society— Railroads— Official Register— Roster of Legis- 
lative, Civil and Judicial Officers from 1837 to 1884— Political History— Statistics— Vote 
for President— Valuation of County— Population— Manufacturing Statistics 211-23S 

McHenry County in the Rebellion. 


The Firing Upon Sumter— President's Call for Troops— Governor Yates' Proclamation 
—The State's Prompt Response— Popular S -nti nent in McHenry County— Meeting of 
the Board of Supervisors— Proceedings— History of Fifteenth Regiment— Twenty-Third 
Regiment— Thirty-Sixth Regiment— Ninety-Fifth Regiment— One Hundred and Forty- 
First Regiment— One Hundred and Fifty-Third Regiment— Eighth Cavalry— Miscella- 
neou s Organizations 237-255 

McHenry County Bar. 


McHenry County Lawyers— Men of Character and Ability— Earlv Members of the Bar— 
A.E.Thomas, Searl, Barwick and Others— First Lawyers at Wooistock— D. C. Bush, 
William Sloan and Col. L. S. Church— A. B. Com, the Oldest Lawyer of the Present Bar 
—Piatt &, Piatt— Hon. T. D. Murphy— Hoi. M. L. Joslyn— Kerr, Slaviu and Others— Bi- 
ographies and Personal Mention 256-273 

The Medioal Profession. 


Introduction — Early Physicians— Their Character and Experiences — Prevalence of Fever 
and Ague in Early Times— The Climate— Its General Healthful Character— High Stand- 
ing or McHenry County Physicians— Historical and Biographical Record— Mention of 
Prominent Doctors, Early and Late— Physicians of the Several Towns and Villages of 
the County 274-294 




The Public Schools — The Press. 

The Cause of Education in McHenry County— The Pioneer Schools— Growth and Devel- 
opment of the Present School System -The Present Condition of the Schools of the 
County— Statistics— The Local Press— The First I 'aper, the Illinois Republican, estab- 
lished in 184b — The Woodstock Democrat — Woodstock Argus— The Sentinel — The New 
Era— The McHenry County Democrat — Marengo Papers — 1'he Marengo Republican — 
The Harvard Independent — McHenry Plaindealer — Richmond Gazette— Nunda Herald — 
Nunda Advocate 295- 

The Old Settlers' Association. 


First Meeting, 1868— Officers Elected— The Reunion at McHenry in 1869— Account of Pro- 
ceedings—The Reunion of 1876 — The Association Permanently Organized in 1876— The 
Constitution— Oiiginal Members— Subsequent Reunions— Reminiscences— Officers and 
Members of the Society ; 310-324 

The Honored Dead. 

A Chapter Devoted to" Eminent and Worthy Citizens, Pioneers and Others Whose Life- 
work is Completed — Farmers, Business Men, Soldiers— Legislators — Editors and Educa- 
tors—The Early Settlers— Eminent Men of Woodstock— Of Other Parts of the County- 
Incidents of Pioneer Life — Achievements and HonorB 325-337 

Crimes and Accidents. 

A Chapter Devoted to the Dark Side of Life in McHenry County— The First Murder 
Trial — The First Murder— Dark Deeds of Later Times— A Whole Family Killed— Suicide 
and Murder — A Boy Murdered a Man for Money — Remarkable Storms— Destruction of 
Life and Property— Commonplace Accidents— Railroad Disasters— Suicides— A Long 
List of Unfortunate Occurrences 338-358 

Farm Dratnaoe 359-366 

Alden Township. 


Origin of Name— First Settlers— Settled in 1836— Location— A Prairie Township— Nip- 
persink Creek— First Happenings— CemeterieB— Educational Interests — Religious Inter- 
ests — Postoffice— Dairy Interests— Township Officers— Alden Village — Business Men — 
Biographical 367-i 

Algonquin Township. 


Location — Topography Lakes and Streams — Railroads — Name — Settlement — Early Set- 
tlers — Early Events — Cemeteries— Grist and Saw Mills— School Statistics — Township 
Officers— Crystal Lake Village — Date of St ttlement— Location — Crystal Lake — Incorpora- 
tion — First and Present Officers — Business Directory — Algonquin Village— Location — 
Laid Out in 1836— First Doings — Postoffice — Schools— Churches— Business Directory — 
Biographical 382-417 

Burton Township. 


The Smallest Town in the County — Early Settlement — Events of Pioneer Life — A 
Yankee Settler Among Englishmen— Early Schools, Postoffices, Meetings, etc. — First 
Township Ejection — Changing the Name of the Town— Spring Grove — Churches — Bi- 
ographical 418-430 

Chemung Township. 


Name— Settlement— Location— Surface Features— Railro ads — Cemeteries— School Sta- 
tistics—Township Officers — Cyclone— Destruction oT~OTe and Property, and Peculiar 
Freaks— Lawrence— Postoffice— Presbyterian Church — Chemung— Saw and Grist Mill — 
Cheese Factory— Postoflice— First Religious Services— Harvard— When Platted— First 
Events— Hotels— Banks— Manufactories— Churches— Societies— Biographical 431-517 

Coral Township. 


Location— Description— Railroad— Kishwaukee— Settlement— First Events — Religious 
Services— Cemetery— School Statistics— First Postoffice— Postoffice at Harvard— Cheese 
Factory— First Election— First and Present Officers— Indian Village— Council House- 
Union Village— Date of Settlement— First House— Postoffice— Societies— Churches- 
Coral Village— Harmony— Biographical 518-542 



Dorr Township and City op Woodstock. 

Location— Description— Brooks and Streams— Railroad— Named lor Governor Dorr- 
Settlement— Virginia Settlement— First Events^PreBByterian Church of Ridgefield— ■ 
School Statistics^-Ridgefleld Cemetery— Creamery— Early Reminiscences — Ridgefield 
Village Laid out in 1855, by Wm. Hartman— Postoffice— Township Offices— Woodstock- 
Location and Appearance— Beginning and Growth— First Events— Early Settlers— Me r- 
cantile and Industrial Histury— Incorporated as a Village, 1852— Village Officers— City 
Government" Formed 1873— City Officers— Memorable Fires— Fire Department—Post- 
office— Mineral Springs— Items-Public Schools— Private Schools— Churches and Socie- 
tieB— Biographical 54d-e,» 

Dunham Township. 

Location— Physical Features— Settled in 1836-Name Given— First Events— First Town- 
ship Election— Officers— Batter and Cheese Factories— Cyclone— School Statistics— A 
Township Without a Trading Point— Biographical 626-635 

Grafton Township. 

Location— Topography— Streams and Lakes — Railroad — Settlement — Name — First 
Events— Cemeteries— School Statistics— Cheese Factory— Township Officers — Huntley 
Village— Name-Date of Settlement— First Events— Village Incorporated in l 87 f— 
Churches—— Postoffice— Biographical 63e-bb9 

Greenwood Township. 

Name of Township— Location— Topography— Organization— Officers— First Settlers- 
Early Events— School Statistics— Postoffice— Religious Denominations— Norwegians- 
Germans— Cemeteries— Saw and Grist Mills— Butter and Cheese Factories— Greenwood 
Village— Business Directory— Biographical 670-bSs 

Hartland Township. 

Location— Physical Features— A Good Site for a Village— Settlement— Origin of Name- 
Organization— First Events— Officers— Schools— Mail Facilities — CemeterieB — Early 
Dispute About ClaimB— Counterfeiters— Catholic Church— School Statistics— Biograph- 
ical 69i 


Hebron Township. 

Named by a Lady— Settled in 1836— First Settlers— Location— Topography— First Events 
— Postoftices— Cemeteries— Butter and Cheeee Factories— Railroad— Township Officers- 
School Statistics— Hebron Village— Societies— Churches— Biographical 707-733 


Marengo Township. 

Situation— Rich in Soil and Improvements— Description— Stone Quarry— Railroad— 
Settlement— Early Settlers— Name Given— Early Events— First Election — Officers- 
School Statistics— Marengo Village— Location— Description— Temperance Town — Date 
of Settlement— Incorporation— Officers— Churches— Societies — Graded School — Post- 
office— Banks — Manufactures — Business Directory — Biographical 734-775 

McHenrt Township. 


Location — Water Advantages — Lakes, Rivers and Creeks — Rich Lands — RajlEOjflda— Site 
of the OldCounty Seat— First Settlement — First Events— Cemeteries— Postoffice— School 
Statistics— TownBhiD Officers— McHenry Village — Settlement— Incorporation— Officers- 
Manufactures— Public School— Lodge— Business Directory— West McHenry— Early His- 
tory — Manufactures— Church — Business Directory — Ringwood — School — Church— Johns- 
burg— Church— Marble W orks— Business Directory— Biographical 776-825 

Nxjnda Township. 



Location — Lakes and Streams— Railroads — Name of Township — Settlement 
Events—Prairie Grove Cemetery — B"utter and Cheeee Factory — Barreville— Grist-Mill 
PoBtoffice— Oary Station— Postoffice— Pickle Factory— Church— School Statistics— Nunda 
Village— First Called Dearborn — First Business Men — Hotels— Depot and Railroad — 
Postoffice — Manufactures— churches — Societies — Business Directory — Biographical. . . 826-883 

Richmond Township. 


A Prosperous Community —The First Settler— The Pioneers— Early Events— Present 
Condition of Schools— Agricultural Statistics— The Village of Richmond— Its Origin 
and Growth— Religious History— Societies— Biographical .884-922 

Riley Township. 



Settlement— Whitman Cobb— First Settler— Other Early Settlers— First Events— School 
Statistics— First Physician— Cemeteries— Township House— Location of Township- 
Description— Coon Creek— Stock and Dairy Business— Township Officers— Biographi- 
cal 923-9:9 

Seheca Township. 


Location— Appearance in Early Times— A Rich and Prosperous Township— Origin of 
Name— First Settler— Vermont Settlement— Early Events— School Statistics— Religious 
—Methodist Church— Franklinville— Postmasters and Merchants— Town Organization — 
Officers— Cemeteries— Saw and Grist Mills— Cheese Factory and Creamery— Biographi- 
cal 930 


Abbott, George 677 

Axtell, A. E 460 

Ayer, E. G 430 

Ayer, Mrs. E. G. .. 431 

Burgett, James 368 

Button, J. C 188 

Carmack, Aoram 631 

Clark, Samuel 295 

Colby, Page 570 

Crosby, R. R 25 

Crosby, Louisa J 26 

Crumb, J. C 516 

Cummings, J. S 648 

Duffield, Henry 597 

Eckert, Henry 681 

Eddy, Capt. John 528 

Faircbild, Kev. I. H 598 

Fulkr, Russel 37 

Gage, George 776 

Gardner, William 115 

Gardner, Mrs. Ann B 116 

Ga'es, S. S 38i 


Goff, Cameron 852 

Goff, Mr-. Lydia 853 

Green, J. W 274 

Hanlv.A. H 140 

Harrison, Jnhn 49 

Hatch, Lewis 419 

Heaney, John 69 

Heaney, Mrs. J 70 

Huffman, W. H 236 

Huffman, Mrs. Mary 237 

Hunt, G. W 717 

Huntley, C. C 636 

Huntley, T. S 637 

Johonnutt, E S 904 

Johonnot.t, Mrs. Fannie L.905 

Keller, He ry 350 

Keller, Mrs. Sarjh C 351 

Ladd, Wesley 807 

Lincoln Monument 137 

Lye, Henry 40^ 

Lye, Mrs. Sarah 407 

jlap of McHenry Couuty...l55 

McConnell, Wm. A 909 

Mead, H. W 706 

Old Fort Dearborn 61 

Quinlan, Jerry 686 

Saylir, J. R 338 

Sayler, Mrs. J. R 331 

Sears, Z W 99 

Senger, Peter 689 

Slater, William 484 

Slater, Mrs. William 485 

Smith, B. F 503 

Stickney, George 871 

Thompson, Ahira 750 

Todri, Rev. R. K. Frontispiece 

Tryon, Chas. H 724 

Tryon, Mrs. Harriet B 163 

Walkup, Wm. P 211 

Weeks, Daniel 918 

Weeks, Mrs. Ann P 919 

Wells, G. V 734 

Wheeler, Rev. Joel 816 

Whieler, Mrs. E. D 817 


Abbott, A. C 395 

Abbott, Georse, 677 

Adams, Castor 790 

Albee, Orrin 936 

Aldrich, J. V 89:2 

Allen, George 677 

Anderson, 3. L 449 

AndersoD, V. B 280 

Andison, Thomas 587 

Andrews, George 893 

Andrews, Robert 842 

Armstrong, Charles 450 

Armstrong, John 843 

Arps, Geo. H 587 

Austin, A. L 895 

Austin, I. A 588 

Avery, Col. W.lliam 588 

Axtell, A. E 451 

Axtell,E. M 525 

Ayer, E. G 451 

Aylsworth, John 840 

Aylsworth. Mrs. A. F. F....841 

Babcock, J. B 755 

Backus, L. S 629 

Badger.J. A 589 

Baker, Henry 454 

Baldwin, Sebrean 677 

Ballard, J. H 644 

Barber, Lester 526 

Barnee,C. P 272 

Barrows, Dexter 630 

Barth, Jacob 455 

Bassett, Rev. J. E 791 

Baumgartner, Rev . J. E — 645 

Beck,7.A.... 895 

Beck, Robert 456 

Beck. R.J 456 

Beckley, E '43 

Beckley, G. L 843 

Beckley, Capt. J. E 845 

Beckley, Lucius 846 

Beckwith, Chauncey 791 

Beers, E. A 2:7 

Belden, H. W 938 

Bell, J. B 792 

Benjamin, Henry 457 

Bennett, S. F ail 

Benson, E. H 396 

Benson, W. P 397 

Bentley.D. K 457 

Bentley, Rodolphus 458 

Besley, G. W 792 

Bigelow, F.J 936 

Billings, W.G 458 

Binnie, H. W 459 

Bishop, Hon. Richard 270 

Blake.N.E 4*0 

Bakeslee, G 589 

Bliss, J. D 5^6 

Boies, Israel 756 

Boies, Wm. A 756 

Boley.G 792 

Bordwell, D 372 

Bourne, A. E 272 

Bower, Elijah 896 

Brainard, Gilbert 460 

Braunen, James 645 

Brewer, J. C 372 

Brwham E. W 713 

Brink, John 847 

Broadley, Henry 421 

Brotzman, John 925 

Brown, A. L 896 

Brown, B. S 461 

Brown, C. R ....462 

Brown, H. B 646 

Brown, H. T 277 

Brown, J. F 713 

Brown, T. M 526 

Brown, Wm. A 462 

Branson, D. H 679 

Bryan, Mrs. S. T 679 

Buchanan, J. F 590 

Buck.Alfred US 

Buck, W. H 280 

Bunker, J. F 590 

Banker, Geo. K 591 

Burbank, A. J 463 

Burbank, Elisha 591 

Burbank, G. A 592 

Burbank, G. E 592 

Burgett, James 714 

Burke, Michael 698 

Bunch, N.B 305 

Burton, David 287 

Burton, S. L 397 

Butler, J. B 849 

ButterBe d, Merrick 757 

Bmton,J. C 593 

Butts, B. B 464 

Capron,L. A 937 

Carey, B. F 465 

Carmack, Abram 630 

Carr.R. H 793 

Chandler, Simeon 397 

Chase, E. T 793 

Chase, M. M 794 

Chilson.D. W 465 

Chilson, Villiam 466 

Church, E.L 466 

Church, Col. L. S 257 

Clark, J. W 467 

(Jlai'k, Samuel 646 

Clark, M. D., Samue' 293 

Clark.S.E '. 679 

Clawson.G.T 372 

Clayson.G. H 849 

Clemens, Chester 850 

Coe, H.B 468 

Colby, A. P 794 

ifo .- 


Colby, CO 795 

Colby, Henry 795 

Colby, Ira 795 

Colby, N. S 796 

Colby, O.C 851 

Colby. Page 796 

Cole, M.J 714 

ColliBon, 897 

Conn, G. W 715 

Conover, J. L 851 

Conover J . S 647 

Cook, W. W 281 

Coon, A. B 259 

Coon, A. B., Jr 272 

Cooney, Martin 699 

Cooney, E. D 595 

Copelaod, H. W 373 

Coventry, Wm. H 4f 9 

Crabtree, William 398 

Crego, Charles 757 

Crego, George 758 

Crissey, S. A 758 

Cristy, J. W 797 

Cristy, Wm. A 797 

CrOBby.E. E 898 

Crow, James 852 

Crumb, H. D 470 

Crumb, J. C 516 

Culver.C.N 899 

Cummings, G. C ..648 

Cummings, J. S 618 

Cunningham, J. F 470 

Curtiss, Hon. I. R 266 

Cutter, Samuel 373 

Dailey, Peleg 680 

Davie, A. F 595 

Davis.D. L 527 

Dayton, Elisha 758 

Deitriecb, Henry 680 

Deilz, Hon. P. W 759 

Dcnison, C. D 899 

Diesel, Endolph 596 

Dike,C. F 398 

Dike. H»nrv 716 

Dodge, Elisha 471 

Dodge, J. L 399 

Dadge, Solomon 798 

Donahue, Jo'm 649 

Donnelly, C. H 271 

Donnelly, Hon. Neill 327 

Downs, David 472 

Downs, D. L 472 

Drake, R. H 527 

Daffleld, Henry 597 

Duffield, James 598 

Dufield, James A 596 

Dunham, A. B 527 

Dunham, A. E 528 

Dunham, C. A 528 

Dutton, O.J 47 J 

Dwelly, Horace 798 

D*ight, W. H 599 

Dygert, H. P 399 

Earl, Geo. A 374 

Eckert, Henry 6trt 

Eddy, Rev. H. C 529 

Eddy, Captain John 529 

Edwards, David 649 

Ellis, B. F 650 

Ellis, T.J 799 

Ellsworth, M. F 21,8 

Ellsworth, W. W 937 

Eppel, Frederick 699 

Estergren, William 400 

Evans, J. J 650 

Fairchild, I. H 599 

Fegers.C. H 278 

Fenner, Hamlin 716 

Featon, D. L 760 

Ferris, Sylvanus 374 

Ferris, T. E 651 

Fillmore, Wm. J 530 

Fisher, Rev. Wm. H 531 

Flavin, D. H 700 

Foote, Marcus 899 

Forby. John 473 

Ford, E. A 400 

Ford. George 853 

Forrest, Eobert 701 

Fosdick, Hairy 682 

Foster, R. W 600 

Foster, S. F 401 

Frame, Norman 600 

Frary.G. S 401 

Frett, Wm.F 799 

Frey, George 682 

Frey, Veter 683 

Friend, M. D 601 

Frinb, J. M 531 

Fuller, Eussel 900 

Gage, George 799 

Gale, S. G 901 

Gardner, Robert 474 

Gardner, William 901 

Garry, Patrick 651 

Gates, S.S 403 

Gays, Wm. C 475 

Gibbs, Col. H 902 

Gilison.D. L 601 

Giddings, J. H 717 

Gleseler. Phili p 802 

Gillies, JohnC 7»1 

Gillis.H W 475 

Gillilan, Mrs. Margaret 404 

Gillmore, Hon. O.'H 269 

Given, Wm. D 683 

Gla-s,Elias 375 

Goff . Cameron 853 

Goflf, W. W 601 

Goodhand William 903 

Goodrich, G. W 937 

Goodwin, J 854 

Granger, Hon. ¥.K .... 263 

Gratton, E. O 284 

Graves, O. E 938 

Green.D. C 279 

Green, J. W 289 

i^regorv, S. 602 

Griebel, Michael 702 

Grifliug, G. H 6u2 

Griffith, P. S 926 

Grimley, Thomas 651 

HackeU, W. M 65J 

Hackley, E. G 926 

Hackley, F. G 927 

Had ey, Richard 652 

Hagaman, C. E 476 

Hait.N. S 802 

Hale,O.M 855 

Haiey, William 702 

Hanly, A. H 803 

Hanson, Magnus 477 

Harrison, John 804 

Harrison, William 804 

Harsh, Isaac 805 

Hart, Charles 477 

Hart,Wm.B 286 

Hartman.O, G 603 

Hartman, William 603 

Hastings, Carlisle 531 

Hatch, Lewis 421 

Haven, E. F 512 

Hawley, John 653 

Hawver, John 478 

Hawver.P. D 479 

Hay, Eev. S. C 604 

HazIet.W. J 938 

Heaney, John 422 

Hebord, F. A 805 

Helm, John 405 

He!m,N. B 480 

Henderson, Andrew 855 

Herdklotz, George 684 

HerdUlotz, P. J 684 

Hesselgrave, Robert 904 

nibbard, A. W 480 

Hickox, Mark 604 

Hill, Capt. Walter 805 

Hills, Oalvin 761 

Hodsell, Edwin 927 

Hoffman, Aaron 423 

Hollister, R. C 653 

Holmes, Thomas 904 

Houston, C. F 532 

Howard, Mathew 684 

Howard, O. J 276 

Howe, E.N 761 

Howe, J. I, 806 

Howell, Cary 685 

Hoy,M. D 605 

Hubbell,M. A 631 

Huffman, P. M 856 

Huffman, Wm. H 857 

Hunt, Charles 481 

Hunt, E. H 861 

Hunt.G. W 717 

Hunt, Brothers 718 

Hnntington, Calvin 654 

Huntley, C. C 655 

Huntley, Mrs. E. M 405 

Huntley. T. S 654 

Hutchinson, D. P 482 

Imeson, Jonathan 424 

Ingalls.A.O 938 

Ingersoll, C. W 761 

Jackman, J. E 862 

Jackman, E. D 863 

Jackson George . . 533 

Jackson, Wi'liam M 533 

Jackson, William 266 

James, Mason 939 

Jecks, Isaac 806 

Jerome. J. N 631 

Jewett, Henry 606 

Johnson, H. W 287 

Johnson, J. H 606 

Johonnott, A. J 904 

Johonnott, E. S 905 

Joslyn.Hon. M. L 263 

Kee, James 406 

Keeney,H. B 762 

Keller, Henry 863 

Kelley, C. E 762 

Kelly, J. W 607 

Kendall, C.N 607 

Kerns-Mrs. Ann 406 

Kerr, Hon. William 262 

Kilkenny, Eev. John 657 

Kingsley, C. L 375 

Knickerbocker, David 376 

Knox, Edward 865 

LaBrec, Joseph 482 

LaBrec, Victor 376 

LaBrec, William 377 

Ladd, Wesley 807 

Lake, M. W 483 

Lawson, J. T 658 

Lawson, Eichard 906 

Lawrence, D. W 763 

Lewis, J. 483 

Leydon, Rev. T. F 608 

Lincoln, O. H 763 

Lindsay, Thomas 608 

Lines, U E 484 

Linn, Eev. J. M 485 

Lockwood, CharleB 533 

Lockwood, H. J 609 

Logue, James 486 

Lounsbury, M. M 609 

Lowell, L. D 293 

Lumley, Thomas 808 

Lye, Henry, 407 

Madole,Jacob 809 

Marsh, Henry 906 

Marshall, John 939 

Marshall, T. P 486 

Martin, J. J 487 

Martin, L. L 907 

Mason, D. T 658 

Mason, J. N 908 



Maeon, O. P 659 

Matthews, E. F 865 

McOonnell, A. B 609 

McConnell, George 908 

McConnell, John 909 

McConnell, Wm. A 909 

McDonald, James 685 

McDonnell, Patrick 487 

McGee, Owen 488 

McGee, Sylvester 703 

McGee, Wm. F 489 

McGhee, A. F 610 

McLaren, J. A 610 

McLean, H. W 259 

McMillan, A. J 865 

Mead, Charles 425 

Mead, C. L 718 

Mead, F. W 910 

Mead, H. C 809 

Mead, H. W 732 

Mead, Marcus 939 

Medlar, J. S 610 

Merchant, G. E 810 

Merry, Eli 377 

Merry, W. S 378 

Metcalf, Gilbert 928 

Metcalf.M. B 928 

Miller Brothers 659 

Miller, C. C 291 

Miller, Ferdinand 489 

Mills, S.G. W 490 

Minier, H. B 491 

Montgomery, William 611 

Moore, J. F 638 

Moore, William 911 

Morris,E.R 533 

Morris, T. L 409 

Morse, Sherman 611 

Morse, W. P 866 

Morton, Edward 409 

Morton, N. B 493 

Mudgett, J. H 867 

Mudgett, W. H 867 

Mnnger, Milo 492 

Monger, W. M 493 

Murphy, A. W 686 

Murphy, Hon. T. D 261 

Murphy, Wm. H 612 

Muzzy, I. N 584 

Myers, G. H 912 

Nash, A. W 660 

Nash.S. H 410 

Nason, Wm. A 410 

Nickle, William 810 

Nihan, J. J 704 

Nieh, Jameg 618 

Noble, Major 912 

Norton. Daniel 661 

Nutt, F. L 290 

O'Brien, Peter 940 

Ocock, J. H 534 

Ocock, W. W 535 

Olmsted, E. S 613 

O'Neill, Eev. P. M 811 

Onthank, C. W 493 

Overton, J. 8 913 

Overton, R. W 912 

Owen, E. M 811 

Page,GeorgeR 763 

Page, L. S 614 

Parker, B. S 764 

Parker, J. F 615 

Parker, W 812 

Parrish, J. A 265 

Parsons, T. L 661 

Patrick, F. A 765 

Patterson, C. C 867 

Paul, Eev. Samuel 494 

Peacock, MrB. Nancy 425 

Pearsali,E. E 662 

Pease, M. C 495 

Peck,D. E 765 

Peirce, Marvel 426 

Pendleton, CM 662 

Pervey, John 663 

Peters, John 412 

Pettingill, O. N 535 

Phillips, Robert ...412 

Phillips, S. K 536 

Philp, James 413 

Pierce, John 719 

Pierce, John S 704 

Pierce, Lyman 719 

Porter, T. W 766 

Potter, D. A 913 

Pringle, Patterson 766 

Puffer, H.L 495 

Puffer, S. L 496 

Puidy, George 914 

Purinton, Josiah 496 

Qulnlan, Humphrey 704 

Quinlan, Jeremiah 686 

Quitm, William 61b 

Eandal), J. F 664 

Eead, Charles 536 

Read, J. A 537 

Eector. G. S 378 

Reynolds, E. S 497 

Reynolds, J.N 498 

Richards, E. E 616 

Richards, T. Mc. D 616 

Richardson, Robert 426 

Richmond, EH 617 

Rider, Wm. H 687 

Riley, Wm. O 537 

Eobbins, James 914 

Robinson, Wm. B 618 

Rogers, O. P 767 

Rosencrans, H. E .910 

Ross, C. L 940 

Ross, Wm. S 537 

Rowe, Aaron 720 

Rowe, Frank 720 

Salisbury, J. W 868 

Salisbury, William 869 

Sanborn, J. W 922 

Sanders, W. H 769 

Saunders, P. B 4!<9 

Sawyer, John 721 

Sayler. J. R 812 

Schaaf, Michael 705 

Schultz, Adolph 499 

Schutt, E.M. 500 

Scully, J. M 70r> 

Seamans, G. W 721 

Sears, Z. W 770 

Seely, Lyman 500 

Senger, Michael 687 

Senger, Peter 688 

Seward, E. H 538 

Seymour, Ephraim 414 

Shales, C 870 

Shatzla, J> eeph 501 

Shearer, William 770 

Sheldon, Daniel 941 

Sheldon, E. L 290 

Sheldon, F. H 539 

Sheldon, F. L 538 

Sheldon, Prof. J. A 870 

Sheldon, T. R 915 

Shepard, S. S 870 

Sherwin, Ai 539 

Sherwood. E. E 415 

Shippee, L. J 501 

Short, Edward 618 

Short, F. L 70o 

Short, J. D *19 

Shufelt, P. D 502 

Shufeldt, Robert 414 

Shurtleff. A.J 770 

Sindereon, G. J 502 

Simpkins, Eichard 941 

Simpson, Henry 813 

Sinnett. Henry 664 

Sinton, David 632 

Sinton, Richard 633 

Slater, William 427 

Slavln, J. H 269 

Smith, A. M 502 

Smith, A. W 619 

Smith, B. F 503 

Smith, Hon. B. N 268 

Smith, Bradford 813 

Smith, CM 684 

Smith, Dwight 688 

Smith, E. B 620 

Smith, E. S 3;9 

Smith, G. R 503 

Smith.H. C 814 

Smith, Janies 871 

Smith, Prof. L. L 871 

Smith, L. P 504 

Smith, W. E 335 

Smith, W. L 814 

Snowden.John 633 

Snyder, Jacob 620 

Soothill, J. H 278 

Soudericker, George f>89 

Southworth, J. M 270 

Sperry, Anson 260 

Speny.E.P 771 

Spraguc, Samuel 665 

Staley, J. H 504 

St. Clair, I. C 621 

Stedman, D. A 771 

Stevens, A rieteces 689 

Stevens, B. A 428 

Stevens, William 814 

Stewart, Alexander 772 

Stewart, A. D.... .... 772 

Stewart, C. F 916 

Stewart.J. J 723 

Stewart, John 722 

Stewart, E. W 721 

sticltuev, George 872 

St. Jobn, Josiah 929 

Stone, Geo. E 279 

Stone, G. F 621 

Stone, J. B 917 

Story, Jacob 815 

street, C. and Sons 123 

Siryker, Christian 622 

Sullivan, Cornelius 706 

Sweeney, J. A 505 

Sweet, Chauncey 429 

Talbot, Jacob 929 

Tebbetts, Charles 506 

Tefft, C. H 917 

Templeton, J. G 666 

Terwilliger, S amuel 877 

Terwilliger, William 622 

Thomas, Andrew 8 6 

Thomas, Briegs 918 

Thomas, H. E 918 

Thomas, M. B 918 

Thomas, S. M 415 

Thompson, Ahira 773 

Thompson, Anson 878 

Thompson, A. C 690 

Thompson, James 507 

'I hompson, J. C 506 

Thompson, O. H 507 

Thompson, Wm. G 508 

Thompson, W. p 416 

Thome, C. H 773 

To>d, E. K 567 

Tong, John 623 

Tooker, E. E 509 

Tooker, S. B 509 

Truesdell, (+. W 919 

Tryon, C. F 725 

Tryon,C.H 725 

Tryon, G. F 729 

Turner, G. E fl9 

Tweed, Robert 429 

Udell, Alby 379 

Udell, A. W 

Udell, George. 
Udell, O.J 




TJsborne, J. W 540 

Vail, B. J 774 

Vail.F.G 774 

Van Slyke J 307 

Van Wie, Lorenzo 510 

Vom Bruch, Otto 510 

Wakeley, William 511 

Walker, Everton 512 

Walker, W. B 512 

Walkup, J. B 878 

Walkup, Wm. P 624 

Wallace, James 634 

Walters, August 730 

Ward, H. K 283 

Warner, 0. E 879 

Warner, D. B 880 

Warner, Walter 540 

Waterman, Ira 541 

vVaterman, L. A 816 

Watrous,J. S 882 

Watson, C.C 288 

Watson, James '90 

Weber, 513 

Weeks, Daniel 919 

Weeks, E. B 920 

Wells, G. V 774 

Wells, Jonathan 634 

Weltszein, John 666 

Wentworth, Isaac 817 

Wernham, S. 290 

Wesson, J. E *91 

Wettstein, Herman 513 

Wheeler, C. G 276 

Wheeler, Rev. Joel 817 

White, Christopher 920 

Whiting, A. 1) 832 

Whiting, A. 834 

Whiting, Freeman 821 

Whitson, Thomas 624 

Whittaker, Thomas 416 

Whittemore, Washington. .667 
Wickham, G. S 380 

Wilcox, C. A .....541 

Wilcox, H. J 541 

Wilkinson, CM 514 

Wilkinson, Edwin 514 

Wilkinson, Philo 515 

Willard, W. R 863 

Willey. O 884 

Williams, James 668 

Williams, Thomas 669 

Wood. J. A 614 

Woodard Loron 775 

Woodbeck,W. H 625 

Woodbury, W. H 731 

Wooeter, George 516 

Wray, Richard 921 

Wright, A. S 625 

Wright, Burton 691 

Wright, Leroy 692 

Writht, M. J 692 

Young, A. W 264 

Zenk, John 669 






The numerous and well-authenticated accounts of antiquities 
found in various parts of our country, clearly demonstrate that a 
people civilized, and even highly cultivated, occupied the broad 
surface of our continent before its possession by the present In- 
dians; but the date of their rule of the Western World is so re- 
mote that all traces of their history, their progress and decay, lie 
buried in deepest obscurity. Nature, at the time the first Euro- 
peans came, had asserted her original dominion over the earth ; the 
forests were all in their full luxuriance, the growth of many cen- 
turies; and naught existed to point out who and what they were 
who formerly lived, and loved, and labored, and died, on the conti- 
nent of America. This pre-historic race is known as the Mound- 
Builders, from the numerous large mounds of earth-works left by 
them. The remains of the works of this people form the most in- 
teresting class of antiquities discovered in the United States. Their 
character can be but partially gleaned from the internal evidences 
and the peculiarities of the only remains left, — the mounds. They 
consist of remains of what were apparently villages, altars, temples, 
idols, cemeteries, monuments, camps, fortifications, pleasure 
grounds, etc., etc. Their habitations must have been tents, struc- 
tures of wood, or other perishable material; otherwise their remains 
would be numerous. If the Mound-Builders were not the ancestors 
of the Indians, who were they? The oblivion which has closed over 
them is so complete that only conjecture can be given in answer to 
the question. Those who do not believe in the common parentage 
of mankind contend that they were an indigenous race of the West- 
ern hemisphere; others, with more plausibility, think they came 
from the East, and imagine they can see coincidences in the religion 
of the Hindoos and Southern Tartars and the supposed theology of 


_^ 3 



the Mound-Builders. They were, no doubt, idolators, and it has 
been conjectured that the sun was the object of their adoration. The 
mounds were generally built in a situation affording a view of the 
rising sun: when enclosed in walls their gateways were toward the 
east; the caves in which their dead were occasionally buried always 
opened in the same direction ; whenever a mound was partially en- 
closed by a semi-circular pavement, it was on the east side ; when 
bodies were buried in graves, as was frequently the case, they were 
laid in a direction east and west; and, finally, medals have been 
found representing the sun and his rays of light. 

At what period they came to this country, is likewise a matter of 
speculation. From the comparatively rude state of the arts among 
them, it has been inferred that the time was very remote. Their 
axes were of stone. Their raiment, judging from fragments which 
have been discovered, consisted of the bark of trees, interwoven 
with feathers; and their military works were such ai a people 
would erect who had just passed to the pastoral state of society 
from that dependent alone upon hunting and fishing. 

The mounds and other ancient earth-works constructed by this 
people are far more abundant than generally supposed, from the fact 
that while some are quite large, the greater part of them are small 
and inconspicuous. Along nearly all our water courses that are 
large enough to be navigated with a canoe, the mounds are almost 
invariably found, covering the base points and headlands of the 
bluffs which border the narrower valleys; so that when one finds him- 
self in such positions as to command the grandest views for river 
scenery, he may almost always discover that he is standing upon, 
or in close proximity to, some one or more of these traces of the 
labors of an ancient people. 


On the top of the high bluffs that skirt the west bank of the Mis- 
sissippi, about two and a half miles from Galena, are a number of 
these silent monuments of a pre-historic age. The spot is one of 
surpassing beauty. From that point may be obtained a view of a 
portion of three States —Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. A hundred 
feet below, at the foot of the perpendicular cliffs, the trains of the 
Illinois Central Eailroad thunder around the curve, the portage is 
in full view, and the « Father of Waters," with its numerous bayous 


and islands, sketches a grand pamorama for miles above and below. 
Here, probably thousands of years ago, a race of men now extinct, 
and unknown even in the traditions of the Indians who inhabited 
that section for centuries before the discovery of America by Colum- 
bus, built these strangely wonderful and enigmatical mounds. At 
this point these mounds are circular and conical in form. The larg- 
est one is at least forty feet in diameter at the base, and not less 
than fifteen feet high, even yet, after it has been beaten by the 
storms of many centuries. On its top stands the large stump of an 
oak tree that was cut down about fifty years ago, and its annual 
ringB indicate a growth of at least 200 years. 

One of the most singular earth- works in the State was found on 
the top of a ridge near the east bank of the Sinsinawa creek in the 
lead region. It resembled some huge animal, the head, ears, nose, 
legs and tail, and general outline of which being as perfect as 
if made by men versed in modern art. The ridge on which it was 
situated stands on the prairie, 300 yards wide, 100 feet in height, 
and rounded on the top by a deep deposit of clay. Centrally, 
along the line of its summit, and thrown up in the form of an 
embankment three feet high, extended the outline of a quadruped 
measuring 250 feet from the tip of the nose to the end of the 
tail, and having a width of 18 feet at the center of the body. The 
head was 35 feet in length, the ears 10 feet, legs 60 and tail 75. The 
curvature in both the fore and hind legs was natural to an animal 
lying on its side. The general outline of the figure most nearly 
resembled the extinct animal known to geologists as the Megathe- 
rium. The question naturally arises, By whom and for what pur- 
pose was this earth figure raised? Some have conjectured that 
numbers of this now extinct animal lived and roamed over the prai- 
ries of Illinois when the Mound-Builders first made their appearance 
on the upper part of the Mississippi Valley, and that their wonder 
and admiration, excited by the colossal dimensions of these huge 
creatures, found some expression in the erection of this figure. 
The bones of some similar gigantic animals were exhumed on this 
stream about three miles from the same place. 


Mr. Breckenridge, who examined the antiquities of the "Western 
country in 1817, speaking of the mounds in the American Bottom, 
says: "The great number and extremely large size of some of 


them may be regarded as furnishing, with other circumstances, 
evidences of their antiquity. I have sometimes been induced to 
think that at the period when they were constructed there was a 
population here as numerous as that which once animated the 
borders of the Nile or Euphrates, or of Mexico. The most num- 
erous, as well as considerable, of these remains are found in pre- 
cisely those parts of the country where the traces of a numerous 
population might be looked for, namely, from the mouth of the 
Ohio on the east side of the Mississippi, to the Illinois river, and 
on the west from the St. Francis to the Missouri. I am perfectly 
satisfied that cities similar to those of ancient Mexico, of several 
hundred thousand souls, have existed in this country." 

It must be admitted that whatever the uses of these mounds — 
whether as dwellings or burial places — these silent monuments 
were built, and the race who built them vanished from the face 
of the earth, ages before the Indians occupied the land, but their 
date must probably forever baffle human skill and ingenuity. 

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the places of sepulture 
raised by the Mound-Builders from the more modern graves of the 
Indians. The tombs of the former were in general larger than 
those of the latter, and were used as receptacles for a greater number 
of bodies, and contained relics of art, evincing a higher degree of civ- 
ilization than that attained by the Indians. The ancient earth- 
works of the Mound-Builders have occasionally been appropriated 
as burial places by the Indians, but the skeletons of the latter may 
be distinguished from the osteological remains of the former by 
their greater stature. 

What finally became of the Mound-Builders is another query 
which has been extensively discussed. The fact that their works 
extend into Mexico and Peru has induced the belief that it was 
their posterity that dwelt in these countries when they were first 
visited by the Spaniards. The Mexican and Peruvian works, with 
the exception of their greater magnitude, are similar. Belies com- 
mon to all of them have been occasionally found, and it is believed 
that the religious uses which they subserved were the same. If, 
indeed, the Mexicans and Peruvians were the progeny of the 
more ancient Mound-Builders, Spanish rapacity for gold was the 
cause of their overthrow and final extermination. 

A thousand other queries naturally arise respecting these nations 




winch now repose under the ground, but the most searching investi- 
gation can give ns only vague speculations for answers. No histo- 
rian has preserved the names of their mighty chieftains, or given an 
account of their exploits, and even tradition is silent respecting 


Following the Mound-Builders as inhabitants of North America, 
were, as it is supposed, the people who reared the magnificent 
cities the ruins of which are found in Central America. This peo- 
ple was far more civilized and advanced in the arts than were the 
Mound-Builders. The cities built by them, judging from the ruins 
of broken columns, fallen arches and crumbling walls of temples, 
palaces and pyramids, which in some places for miles bestrew the 
ground, must have been of great extent, magnificent and very pop- 
ulous. "When we consider the vast period of time necessary to erect 
such colossal structures, and, again, the time required to reduce 
them to their present ruined state, we can conceive something of 
their antiquity. These cities must have been old when many of 
the ancient cities of the Orient were being built. 

The third race inhabiting North America, distinct from the 
former two in every particular, is the present Indians. They 
were, when visited by the early discoverers, without cultivation, 
refinement or literature, and far behind the Mound-Builders in 
the knowledge of the arts. The question of their origin has long 
interested archaeologists, and is the most difficult they have been 
called upon to answer. Of their predecessors the Indian tribes 
knew nothing; they even had no traditions respecting them. It is 
quite certain that they were the successors of a race which had 
entirely passed away ages before the discovery of the New "World. 
One hypothesis is that the American Indians are an original race 
indigenous to the "Western hemisphere. Those who entertain this 
view think their peculiarities of physical structure preclude the 
possibility of a common parentage with the rest of mankind. 
Prominent among those distinctive traits is the hair, which in the 
red man is round, in the white man oval, and in the black man flat. 
A more common supposition, however, is that they are a derivative 
race, and sprang from one or more of the ancient peoples of Asia. 
In the absence of all authentic history, and when even tradition is 


,4*- - 


wanting, any attempt to point out the particular location of their 
origin must prove unsatisfactory. Though the exact place of origm 
may never be known, yet the striking coincidence ot physical 
organization between the Oriental type of mankind and the Indians 
point unmistakably to some part of Asia as the place whence they 
emigrated, which was originally peopled to a great extent by the 
children of Shem. In this connection it has been claimed that the 
meeting of the Europeans, Indians and Africans on the continent 
of America, is the fulfillment of a prophecy as recorded in Gen- 
esis ix. 27: "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the 
tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." Assuming the 
theory to be true that the Indian tribes are of Shemitic origin, 
they were met on this continent in the fifteenth century by the 
Japhetic race, after the two stocks had passed around the globe by 
directly different routes. A few years afterward the Hamitic 
branch of the human family were brought from the coast of Africa. 
During the occupancy of the continent by the three distinct races, 
the children of Japheth have grown and prospered, while the called 
and not voluntary sons of Ham have endured a servitude in the 
wider stretching valleys of the tents of Shem. 

When Christopher Columbus had finally succeeded in demon- 
strating the truth of his theory that by sailing westward from Eu- 
rope land would be discovered, landing on the Island of Bermuda 
he supposed he had reached the East Indies. This was an error, 
but it led to the adoption of the name of " Indians " for the inhab- 
itants of the Island and the main land of America, by which name 
the red men of America have ever since been known. 

Of the several great branches of North American Indians the 
only ones entitled to consideration in Illinois history are the Algon- 
quins and Iroquois. At the time of the discovery of America the 
former occupied the Atlantic seaboard, while the home of the 
Iroquois was as an island in this vast area of Algonquin popula- 
tion. The latter great nation spread over a vast territory, and various 
tribes of Algonquin lineage sprung up over the country, adopting, 
in time, distinct tribal customs and laws. An almost continuous 
warfare was carried on between tribes; but later, on the entrance of 
the white man into their beloved homes, every foot of territory 
was fiercely disputed by the confederacy of many neighboring tribes. 
The Algonquins formed the most extensive alliance to resist the 
encroachment of the whites, especially the English. Such was the 


nature of King Philip's war. This King, with his Algonquin 
braves, spread terror and desolation throughout New England.With 
the Algonquins as the controlling spirit, a confederacy of conti- 
nental proportions was the result, embracing in its alliance the tribes 
of every name and lineage from the Northern lakes to the gulf. 
Pontiac, having breathed into them his implacable hate of the 
English intruders, ordered the conflict to commence, and all the 
British colonies trembled before the desolating fury of Indian 


The Illinois confederacy, the various tribes of which comprised 
most of the Indians of Illinois at one time, was composed of five 
tribes : the Tamaroas, Michigans, Kaskaskias, Oahokas, and Peorias. 
The Illinois, Miamis and Delawares were of the same stock. As 
early as 1670 fehe priest Father Marquette mentions frequent visits 
made by individuals of this confederacy to the missionary station at 
St. Esprit, near the western extremity of Lake Superior. At that 
time they lived west of the Mississippi, in eight villages, whither 
they had been driven from the shores of Lake Michigan by the 
Iroquois. Shortly afterward they began to return to their old 
hunting ground, and most of them finally settled in Illinois. 
Joliet and Marquette, in 1613, met with a band of them on their 
famous voyage of discovery down the Mississippi. They were 
treated with the greatest hospitality by the principal chief. On their 
return voyage up the Illinois river they stopped at the principal 
town of the confederacy, situated on the banks of the river seven 
miles below the present town of Ottawa. It was then called Kas- 
kaskia. Marquette returned to the village in 1675 and established 
the mission of the Immaculate Conception, the oldest in Illinois. 
When, in 1679, LaSalle visited the town, it had greatly increased 
numbering 460 lodges, and at the annual assembly of the different 
tribes, from 6,000 to 8,000 souls. In common with other western 
tribes, they became involved in the conspiracy of Pontiac, although 
displaying no very great warlike spirit. Pontiac lost his life by 
the hands of one of the braves of the Illinois tribe, which so enraged 
the nations that had followed him as their leader that they fell upon 
the Illinois to avenge his death, and almost annihilated them. 


Tradition states that a band of this tribe, in order to escape the 
general slaughter, took refuge upon the high rock on the Illinois 



river since known as Starved Kock. Nature has made this one of 
the most formidable military fortresses in the world. From the 
waters which wash its base it rises to an altitude of 125 feet. Three 
of its sides it is impossible to scale, while the one next to the land 
may be climbed with difficulty. From its summit, almost as inac- 
cessible as an eagle.'s nest, the valley of the Illinois is seen as 
a landscape of exquisite beauty. The river near by struggles 
between a number of wooded islands, while further below it quietly 
meanders through vast meadows till it disappears like a thread of 
light in the dim distance. On the summit of this rock the Illinois 
were besieged by a superior force of the Pottawatomies whom the 
great strength of their natural fortress enabled them to keep at bay. 
Hunger and thirst, however, soon accomplished what the enemy 
was unable to effect. Surrounded by a relentless foe, without food 
or water, they took a last look at their beautiful hunting grounds, 
and with true Indian fortitude lay down and died from starvation. 
Years afterward their bones were seen whitening in that place. 

At the beginning of the present century the remnants of this 
once powerful confederacy were forced into a small compass around 
Kaskaskia. A few years later they emigrated to the Southwest, 
and in 1850 they were in Indian Territory, and numbered but 84 


The Sacs and Foxes, who figured most conspicuously in the later 
history of Illinois, inhabited the northwestern portion of the State. 
By long residence together and intermarriage they had substan- 
tially become one people. Drake, in his "Life of Black Hawk," 
speaks of these tribes as follows : " The Sacs and Foxes fought their 
way from the waters of the St. Lawrence to Green Bay, and after 
reaching that place, not only sustained themselves against hostile 
tribes, but were the most active and courageous in the subjugation, 
or rather the extermination, of the numerous and powerful Illinois 
confederacy. They had many wars, offensive and defensive, with 
the Sioux, the Pawnees, the Osages, and other tribes, some of which 
are ranked among the most fierce and ferocious warriors of the 
whole continent; and it does not appear that in these conflicts, run- 
ning through a long period of years, they were found wanting in 
this, the greatest of all savage virtues. In the late war with Great 
Britain, a party of the Sacs and Foxes fought under the British 



t^^JsO^Ul^-CL. jC/^vo^U-^ 




standard as a matter of choice; and in the recent contest between a 
fragment of these tribes and the United States, although defeated 
and literally cut to pieces by an overwhelming force, it is very 
questionable whether their reputation as braves would suffer by a 
comparison with that of their victors. It is believed that a careful 
review of their history, from the period when they first established 
themselves on the waters of the Mississippi down to the present 
time, will lead the inquirer to the conclusion that the Sacs and 
Foxes were truly a courageous people, shrewd, politic, and enter- 
prising, with no more ferocity and treachery of character than is 
common among the tribes by whom they were surrounded." These 
tribes at the time of the Black Hawk War were divided into twenty 
families, twelve of which were Sacs and eight Foxes. The follow- 
ing were other prominent tribes occupying Illinois: the Kickapoos, 
Shawnees, Mascoulins, Piaukishaws, Pottawatomies, Chippewas, 
and Ottawas. 


The art of hunting not only supplied the Indian with food, but, 
like that of war, was a means of gratifying his love of "distinction. 
The male children, as soon as they acquired sufficient age and 
strength, were furnished with a bow and arrow and taught to shoot 
birds and other small game. Success in killing large quadrupeds 
required years of careful study and practice, and the art was as 
sedulously inculcated in the minds of the rising generation as are 
the elements of reading, writing and arithmetic in the common 
schools of civilized communities. The mazes of the forest and the 
dense, tall grass of the prairies were the best fields for the exercise 
of the hunter's skill. No feet could be impressed in the yielding 
soil but that the tracks were the objects of the most searching 
scrutiny, and revealed at a glance the animal that made them, the 
direction it was pursuing, and the time that had elapsed since it 
had passed. In a forest country he selected the valleys, because 
they were most frequently the resort of game. The most easily 
taken, perhaps, of all the animals of the chase was the deer. It is 
endowed with a curiosity which prompts it to stop in its flight and 
look back at the approaching hunter, who always avails himself of 
this opportunity to let fly the fatal arrow. 

Their general councils were composed of the chiefs and old men. 
When in council, they usually sat in concentric circles around the 

. & L 


speaker, and each individual, notwithstanding the fiery passions 
that rankled within, preserved an exterior as immovable as if cast 
in bronze Before commencing business a person appeared with 
the sacred pipe, and another with fire to kindle it. After being 
lighted, it was first presented to heaven, secondly to the earth, 
thirdly to the presiding spirit, and lastly the several councilors, 
each of whom took a whiff. These formalities were observed with 
as close exactness as state etiquette in civilized courts. 

The dwellings of the Indians were of the simplest and rudest 
character. On some pleasant spot by the bank of a river, or near 
an ever-running spring, they raised their groups of wigwams, con- 
structed of the bark of trees, and easily taken down and removed 
to another spot. The dwelling-places of the chiefs were sometimes 
more spacious, and constructed with greater care, but of the same 
materials. Skins taken in the chase served them for repose. 
Though principally dependent upon hunting and fishing, the 
uncertain supply from those sources led them to cultivate small 
patches of corn. Every family did everything necessary within 
itself, commerce, or an interchangeof articles, being almost unknown 
to them. In cases of dispute and dissension, each Indian relied 
upon himself ior retaliation. Blood for blood was the rule, and 
the relatives of the slain man were bound to obtain bloody revenge 
for his death. This principle gave rise, as a matter of course, to 
innumerable and bitter feuds, and wars of extermination where such' 
were possible. War, indeed, rather than peace, was the Indian's 
glory and delight, — war, not conducted as civilization, but war 
where individual skill, endurance, gallantry and cruelty were prime 
requisites. For such a purpose as revenge the Indian would make 
great sacrifices, and display a patience and perseverance truly heroic; 
but when the excitement was over, he sank back into a listless, un- 
occupied, well-nigh useless savage. During the intervals of his 
more exciting pursuits, the Indian employed his time in decorating 
his person with all the refinement of paint and feathers, and in the 
manufacture of his arms and of canoes. These were constructed of 
bark, and so light that they could easily be carried on the shoulder 
from stream to stream. His amusements were the war-dance, ath- 
letic games, the narration of his exploits, and listening to the ora- 
tory of the chiefs; but during long periods of such existence he 
remained in a state of torpor, gazing listlessly upon the trees of 
the forests and the clouds that sailed above them ; and this vacancy 


J (9 

\Q w 


imprinted an habitual gravity, and even melancholy, upon his gen- 
eral deportment. 

The main labor and drudgery of Indian communities fell upon 
the women. The planting, tending and gathering of the crops, 
making mats and baskets, carrying burdens, — in fact, all things of 
the kind were performed by them, thus making their condition but 
little better than that of slaves. Marriage was merely a" matter of 
bargain and sale, the husband giving presents to the father of the 
bride. In general they had but few children. They were sub- 
jected to many and severe attacks of sickness, and at times famine 
and pestilence swept away whole tribes. 


The most desperate single-handed combat with Indians ever 
fought on the soil of Illinois was that of Tom Higgins, August 21, 
1814. Higgins was 25 years old, of a muscular and compact 
build, not tall, but strong and active. In danger he possessed a 
quick and discerning judgment, and was without fear. He was a 
member of Journey's rangers, consisting of eleven men, stationed 
at Hill's Fort, eight miles southwest of the present Greenville, Put- 
nam county. Discovering Indian signs near the fort, the company, 
early the following morning, started on the trail. They had not 
gone far before they were in an ambuscade of a larger party. At 
the first fire their commander, Journey, and three men fell, and 
six retreated to the fort; but Higgins stopped to "have another 
pull at the red-skins," and, taking deliberate aim at a straggling 
savage, shot him down. Higgins' horse had been wounded at the 
first fire, as he supposed, mortally. Coming to, he was about to 
effect his escape, when the familiar voice of Burgess hailed him 
from the long grass, " Tom, don't leave me." Higgins told him to 
come along, but Burgess replied that his leg was smashed. Hig- 
gins attempted to raise him on his horse, but the animal took fright 
and ran away. Higgins then directed Burgess to limp off as well 
as he could; and by crawling through the grass he reached the fort 
while the former loaded his gun and remained behind to protect 
him against the pursuing enemy. When Burgess was well out of 
the way, Higgins took another route, which led by a small thicket, 
to throw any wandering enemy off the trail. Here he was con- 
fronted by three savages approaching. He ran to a little ravine 
near for shelter, but in the effort discovered for the first time that 



he was badly wounded in the leg. He was closely pressed by the 
largest, a powerful Indian, who lodged a ball in his thigh. He fell, 
but instantly rose again, only, however, to draw the fire of the other 
two, and again fell wounded. The Indians now advanced upon him 
with their tomahawks and scalping knives; but as he presented his 
gun first at one, then at another, from his place in the ravine, each 
wavered in his purpose. Neither party had time to load, and the 
large Indian, supposing finally that Higgins' gun was empty, rushed 
forward with uplifted tomahawk and a yell; but as he came near 
enough, was shot down. At this the others raised the war-whoop, 
and rushed upon the wounded Higgins, and now a hand-to-hand 
conflict ensued. They darted at him with their knives time and 
again, inflicting many ghastly flesh-wounds, which bled profusely. 
One of the assailants threw his tomahawk at him with such pre- 
cision as to sever his ear and lay bare his skull, knocking him down. 
They now rushed in on him, but he kicked them eff, and grasping 
one of their spears thrust at him, was raised up by it. He quickly 
seized his gun, and by a powerful blow crushed in the skull of one, 
but broke his rifle. His remaining antagonist still kept up the con- 
test, making thrusts with his knife at the bleeding and exhausted 
Higgins, which he parried with his broken gun as well as he could. 
Most of this desperate engagement was in plain view of the fort; 
but the rangers, having been in one ambuscade, saw in this fight 
only a ruse to draw out the balance of the garrison. But a Mrs. 
Pursely, residing at the fort, no longer able to see so brave a man 
contend for his life unaided, seized a gun, mounted a horse, and 
started to his rescue. At this the men took courage and hastened 
along. The Indian, seeing aid coming, fled. Higgins. being near- 
ly hacked to pieces, fainted from, loss of blood. He was carried to 
the fort. There being no Burgeon, his comrades cut two balls from 
his flesh; others remained in. For days his life was despaired of; 
but by tender nursing he ultimately regained his health, although 
badly crippled. He resided in Fayette county for many years after, 
and died in 1829. 





The first white man who ever set foot on the soil embraced within 
the boundary of the present populous State of Illinois was Nich- 
olas Perrot, a Frenchman. He was sent to Chicago in the year 1671 
by M. Talon, Intendant of Canada, for the purpose of inviting the 
Western Indians to a great peace convention to be held at Green 
Bay. This convention had for its chief object the promulgation of 
a plan for the discovery of the Mississippi river. This great river 
had been discovered by De Soto, the Spanish explorer, nearly one 
hundred and fifty years previously, but his nation left the country 
a wilderness, without further exploration or settlement within its 
borders, in which condition it remained until the river was dis- 
covered by Joliet and Marquette in 1673. It was deemed a wise 
policy to secure, as far as possible, the friendship and co-operation 
of the Indians, far and near, before venturing upon an enterprise 
which their hostility might render disastrous. Thus the great con- 
vention was called. 


Although Perrot was the first European to visit Illinois, he was 
not the first to make any important discoveries. This was left for 
Joliet and Marquette, which they accomplished two years thereafter. 
The former, Louis Joliet, was born at Quebec in 1645. He was 
educated for the clerical profession, but he abandoned it to 
engage in the fur trade. His companion, Father Jacques Mar- 
quette, was a native of France, born in 1637. He was a Jesuit 
priest by education, and a man of simple faith and great zeal and 
devotion in extending the Eoman Catholic religion among the In- 
dians. He was sent to America in 1666 as a missionary. To con- 
vert the Indians he penetrated the wilderness a thousand miles 
in advance of civilization, and by his kind attention in their afflic- 
tions, he won their affections and made them his lasting friends. 
There were others, however, who visited Illinois even prior to the 
famous exploration of Joliet and Marquette. In 1672 the Jesuit 



\|q — — -*■ — 


missionaries, Fathers Claude Allouez and Claude Dablon, bore the 
standard of the Cross from their mission at Green Bay through 
western Wisconsin and northern Illinois. 

According to the pre-arranged plan referred to above, at the Jes- 
uit mission on the Strait of Mackinaw, Joliet joined Marquette, 
and with five other Frenchmen and a simple outfit the daring ex- 
plorers on the 17th of May, 1673, set out on their perilous voyage 
to discover .the Mississippi. Coasting along the northern shore of 
Lake Michigan, they entered Green Bay, and passed thence up Fox 
river and Lake Winnebago to a village of the Muscatines and 
Miamis, where great interest was taken in the expedition by the 
natives. With guides they proceeded down the river. Arriving 
at the portage, they soon carried their light canoes and scanty bag- 
gage to the Wisconsin, about three miles distant. Their guides 
now refused to accompany them further, and endeavored, by re- 
citing the dangers incident to the voyage, to induce them to return. 
They stated that huge demons dwelt in the great river, whose voices 
could be heard a long distance, and who engulfed in the raging 
waters all who came within their reach. They also represented that 
if any of them should escape the dangers of the river, fierce tribes of 
Indians dwelt upon its banks ready to complete the work of de- 
struction. They proceeded on their journey, however, and on the 
17th of June pushed their frail barks on the bosom of the stately 
Mississippi, down which they smoothly glided for nearly a hundred 
miles. Here Joliet and Marquette, leaving their canoes in charge 
of their men, went on the western shore, where they discovered an 
Indian village, and were kindly treated. They journeyed on down 
the unknown river, passing the mouth of the Illinois, then run- 
ning into the current of the muddy Missouri, and afterwaid the 
waters of the Ohio joined with them on their journey southward. 
Near the mouth of the Arkansas they discovered Indians who 
showed signs of hostility; but when Marquette's mission of peace 
was made known to them, they were kindly received. After pro- 
ceeding up the Arkansas a short distance, at the advice of the 
natives they turned their faces northward to retrace their steps. Af- 
ter several weeks of hard toil they reached the Illinois, up which 
stream they proceeded to Lake Michigan. Following the western 
shore of the lake, they entered Green Bay the latter part of Sep- 
tember, having traveled a distance of 2,500 miles. 




On his way up the Illinois, Marquette visited the Kaskaskias, 
near what is now Utica, in LaSalle county. The following year 
he returned and established among them the mission of the Im- 
maculate Virgin Mary. This was the last act of his life. He died 
in Michigan, May 18, 1675. 

lasalle's exfloeations. 
The first French occupation of Illinois was effected by LaSalle, 
in 1680. Having constructed a vessel, the " Griffin," above the 
falls of Niagara, he sailed to Green Bay, and passed thence in 
canoe to the mouth of the St. Joseph river, by which and the Kan- 
kakee he reached the Illinois in January, 1680; and on the 3d he 
entered the expansion of the river now called Peoria lake. Here, 
at the lower end of the lake, on its eastern bank, now in Tazewell 
county, he erected Fort Crev.ecoeur. The place where this ancient 
fort stood may still be seen just below the outlet of Peoria lake. It 
had, however, but a temporary existence. From this point LaSalle 
determined, at that time, to descend the Mississippi to its mouth. 
This he did not do, however, until two years later. Keturning to 
Fort Frontenac for the purpose of getting material with which to 
rig his vessel, he left the fort at Peoria in charge of his lieutenant, 
Henri Tonti, an Italian, who had lost one of his hands by the 
explosion of a grenade in the Sicilian wars. Tonti had with him 
fifteen men, most of whom disliked LaSalle, and were ripe for a 
revolt the first opportunity. Two men who had, previous to LaSalle's 
departure, been sent to look for the " Griffin " now returned and 
reported that the vessel -was lost and that Fort Frontenac was in 
the hands of LaSalle's creditors. This disheartening intelligence 
had the effect to enkindle a spirit of mutiny among the garrison. 
Tonti had no sooner left the fort, with a few men, to fortify what 
was afterward known as Starved Rock, than the garrison at the 
fort refused longer to submit to authority. They destroyed the 
fort, seized the ammunition, provisions, and other portables of value, 
and fled. Only two of their number remained true. These hast- 
ened to apprise Tonti of what had occurred. He thereupon sent 
four of the men with him to inform LaSalle. Thus was Tonti in 
the midst of treacherous savages, with only five men, two of whom 
were the friars Eibourde and Membre. With these he immediately 
returned to the fort, collected what tools had not been destroyed, 
and conveyed them, to the great town of the Illinois Indians. 


« y — — ,!« ' 


By this voluntary display of confidence he hoped to remove the 
jealousy created in the minds of the Illinois by the enemies of La- 
Salle. Here he awaited, unmolested, the return of LaSalle. 


Neither Tonti nor his wild associates suspected that hordes of Iro- 
quois were gathering preparatory to rushing down upon their 
country and reducing it to an uninhabited waste. Already these 
hell-hounds of the wilderness had destroyed the Hurons, Eries, and 
other natives on the lakes, and were now directing their attention 
to the Illinois for new victims. Five hundred Iroquois warriors 
set out for the home of the Illinois. All was fancied security and 
idle repose in the great town of this tribe, as the enemy stealthily 
approached. Suddenly as a clap of thunder from a cloudless sky 
the listless inhabitants were awakened from their lethargy. A 
Shawnee Indian, on his return home after a visit to the Illinois, 
first discovered the invaders. To save his friends from the im- 
pending danger, he hurriedly returned and apprised them of the 
coming enemy. This intelligence spread with lightning rapidity 
over the town, and each wigwam disgorged its boisterous and as- 
tounded inmates. Women snatched their children, and in a delirium 
of f.ight wandered aimlessly about, rending the air with their 
screams. The men, more self-possessed, seized their arms ready 
for the coming fray. Tonti, long an object of suspicion, was soon 
surrounded by an angry crowd of warriors, who accused him of be- 
ing an emissary of the enemy. His inability to defend himself 
properly, in consequence of not fully understanding their language 
left them still inclined to believe him guilty, and they seized his 
effects from the fort and threw them into the river. The women 
and children were sent down the river for safety, and the warriors, 
not exceeding four hundred, as most of their young men were off 
hunting, returned to the village. Along the shores of the river 
they kindled huge bonfires, and spent the entire night in greasing 
their bodies, painting their faces, and performing the war-dance, 
to prepare for the approaching enemy. At early dawn the scouts 
who had been sent out returned, closely followed by the Iroquois. 
The scouts had seen a chief arrayed in French costume, and re- 
ported their suspicions that LaSalle was in the camp of the enemy, 
and Tonti again became an object of jealousy. A concourse of 
wildly gesticulating savages immediately gathered about him, de- 




manding his life, and nothing saved him from their uplifted weap- 
ons but a promise that he and his men would go with them to meet 
the enemy. With their suspicions partly lulled, they hurriedly 
crossed the river and met the foe, when both commenced firing. 
Tonti, seeing that the Illinois were outnumbered and likely to 
be defeated, determined, at the imminent risk of his life, to stay 
the fight by an attempt at mediation. Presuming on the treaty of 
peace then existing between the French and Iroquois, he exchanged 
his gun for a belt of wampum and advanced to meet the savage 
multitude, attended by three companions, who, being unnecessarily 
exposed to danger, were dismissed, and he proceeded alone. A 
short walk brought him in the midst of a pack of yelping devils, 
writhing and distorted with fiendish rage, and impatient to shed 
his blood. As the result of his swarthy Italian complexion and 
half-savage costume, he was at first taken for an Indian, and before 
the mistake was discovered a young warrior approached and stabbed 
at his heart. Fortunately the blade was turned aside by coming 
in contact with a rib, yet a large flesh wound was inflicted, which 
bled profusely. At this juncture a chief discovered his true char- 
acter, and he was led to the rear and efforts were made to staunch 
his wound. When sufficiently recovered, he declared the Illinois 
were under the protection of the French, and demanded, in consid- 
eration of the treaty between the latter and the Iroquois, that they 
should be suffered to remain without further molestation. Durin^ 
this conference a young warrior snatched Tonti's hat, and, fleeino- 
with it to the front, held it aloft on the end of his gun in view of 
the Illinois. The latter, judging that Tonti had been killed, 
renewed the fight with great vigor. Simultaneously, intelligence 
was brought to the Iroquois that Frenchmen were assisting their 
enemies in the fight, when the contest over Tonti was renewed 
with redoubled fury. Some declared that he should be immediately 
put to death, while others, friendly to LaSalle, with equal earnest- 
ness demanded that he should be set at liberty. During their 
clamorous debate, his hair was several times lifted by a huge sav- 
age who stood at his back with a scalping knife ready for execution. 
Tonti at length turned the current of the angry controversy in his 
favor, by stating that the Illinois were 1,200 strong, and that there 
were 60 Frenchmen at the village ready to assist them. This state- 
ment obtained at least a partial credence, and his tormentors now 

• \ 

^A* — «- 


determined to use him as an instrument to delude the Illinois with a 
pretended truce. The old warriors, therefore, advanced to the front 
and ordered the firing to cease, while Tonti, dizzy from the loss of 
blood, was furnished with an emblem of peace and sent staggering 
across the plain to rejoin the Illinois. The two friars who had just 
returned from a distant hut, whither they had repaired for prayer 
and meditation, were the first to meet him and bless God for what 
they regarded as a miraculous deliverance. "With the assurance 
brought by Tonti, the Illinois re-crossed the river to their lodges, 
followed by the enemy as far as the opposite bank. Not long after, 
large numbers of the latter, under the pretext of hunting, also crossed 
the river and hung in threatening groups about the town. These 
hostile indications, and the well-known disregard which the Iroquois 
had always evinced for their pledges, soon convinced the Illinois 
that their only safety was in flight. With this conviction they set 
fire to their village, and while the vast volume of flames aud smoke 
diverted the attention of the enemy, they quietly dropped down the 
river to join their women and children. As soon as the flames would 
permit, the Iroquois entrenched themselves on the site of the vil- 
lage. Tonti and his men were ordered by the suspicious savages 
to leave their hut and take up their abode in the fort. 

At first the Iroquois were much elated at the discomfiture of the 
Illinois, but when two days afterward they discovered them recon- 
noitering their intrenchments, their courage greatly subsided. 
With fear they recalled the exaggerations of Tonti respecting their 
numbers, and concluded to send him with a hostage to make over- 
tures of peace. He and his hostage were received with delight by 
the Illinois, who readily assented to the proposal which he brought, 
and in turn sent back with him a hostage to the Iroquois. On his 
return to the fort his life was again placed in jeopardy, and the 
treaty was with great difficulty ratified. The young and inexpe- 
rienced Illinois hostage betrayed to his crafty interviewers the nu- 
merical weakness of his tribe, and the. savages immediately rushed 
upon Tonti, and charged him with having deprived them of the spoils 
and honors of victory. It now required all the tact of which he was 
master to escape. After much difficulty however, the treaty was con- 
cluded, but the savages, to show their contempt for it, immediately 
commenced constructing canoes in which to descend the river and 
attack the Illinois. 

.> y — \ ^-*- 




Tonti managed to apprise the latter of their designs, and he and 
Membre were soon after summoned to attend a council of the Iro- 
quois, who still labored under a wholesome fear of Count Frontenac, 
and disliking to attack the Illinois in the presence of the French, 
they thought to try to induce them to leave the country. At the 
assembling of the council, six packages of beaver skins were intro- 
duced, and the savage orator, presenting them separately to Tonti, 
explained the nature of each. "The first two," said he, " were to de- 
clare that the children of Count Frontenac, that is, the Illinois, 
should not be eaten; the next was a plaster to heal the wounds of 
Tonti; the next was oil wherewith to anoint him and Membre, 
that they might not be fatigued in traveling; the next proclaimed 
that the sun was bright; and the sixth and last required them to 
decamp and go home." 

At the mention of going home, Tonti demanded of them when 
they intended to set the example by leaving the Illinois in the 
peaceable possession of their country, which they had so unjustly in- 
vaded. The council grew boisterous and angry at the idea that 
they should be demanded to do what they required of the French, 
and some of its members, forgetting their previous pledge, declared 
that they would " eat Illinois flesh before they departed." Tonti, in 
imitation of the Indians' manner of expressing scorn, indignantly 
kicked away the presents of fur, saying, since they intended to de- 
vour the children of Frontenac with cannibal ferocity, he would not 
accept their gifts. This stern rebuke resulted in the expulsion of 
Tonti and his companion from the council, and the next day the 
chiefs ordered them to leave the country. 

Tonti had now, at the great peril of his life, tried every expedient 
-to prevent the slaughter of the Illinois. There was little to be ac- 
complished by longer remaining in the country, and as longer delay 
might imperil the lives of his own men, he determined to depart, not 
knowing where or when he would be able to rejoin LaSalle. With 
this object in view, the party, consisting of six persons, embarked in 
canoes, which soon proved leaky, and they were compelled to land 
for the purpose of making repairs. While thus employed, Father Ki- 
bourde, attracted by the beauty of the surrounding landscape, wan- 
dered forth among the groves for meditation and prayer. Not return ■ 
ing in due time, Tonti became alarmed, and started with a compan- 

9 V* 



ion to ascertain the cause of the long delay. They soon discovered 
tracks of Indians, by whom it.was supposed he had been seized, and 
guns were fired to direct his return, in case he was alive. Seeing 
nothing of him during the day, at night they built fires along the 
bank of the river and retired to the opposite side, to see who might 
approach them. Near midnight a number of Indians were seen 
flitting about the light, by whom, no doubt, had been made the tracks 
seen the previous day. It was afterward learned that they were a 
band of Kickapoos, "who had for several days been hovering about 
the camp of the Iroquois in quest of scalps. They had fell in 
with the inoffensive old friar and scalped him. Thus, in the 65th 
year of his age, the only heir to a wealthy Burgundian house per- 
ished under the war-club of the savages for whose salvation he had 
renounced ease and affluence. 


During this tragedy a far more revolting one was being enacted 
in the great town of Illinois. The Iroquois were tearing open the 
graves of the dead, and wreaking their vengeance upon the bodies 
made hideous by putrefaction. At this desecration, it is said, they 
even ate portions of the dead bodies, while subjecting them to every 
indignity that brutal hate could inflict. Still unsated by their hell- 
ish brutalities, and now unrestrained by the presence of the French, 
they started in pursuit of the retreating Illinois. Day after day 
they and the opposing forces moved in compact array down the 
river, neither being able to gain any advantage over the other. At 
length the Iroquois obtained by falsehood that which number and 
prowess denied them. They gave out that their object was to pos- 
sess the country, not by destroying, but by driving out its present 
inhabitants. Deceived by this false statement, the Illinois separa- 
ted, some descending the Mississippi and others crossing to the 
western shore. The Tamaroas, more credulous than the rest, re- 
mained near the mouth of the Illinois, and were suddenly attacked 
by an overwhelming force of the enemy. The men fled in dismay, 
and the women and children, to the number of 700, fell into the 
hands of the ferocious enemy. Then followed the tortures, butch- 
eries and burnings which only the infuriated and imbruted Iroquois 
could perpetrate. LaSalle on his return discovered the half-charred 
bodies of women and children still bound to the stakes where they 
had suffered all the torments hellish hate could devise. In addition 




to those who had been burnt, the mangled bodies of women and 
children thickly covered the ground, many of which bore marks of 
brutality too horrid for record. 

After the ravenous horde had sufficiently glutted their greed for 
carnage, they retired from the country. The Illinois returned and 
rebuilt their town. 


After the death of Ribourde, Tonti and his men again resumed 
their journey. Soon again their craft became disabled, when they 
abandoned it and started on foot for Lake Michigan. Their 
supply of provisions soon became exhausted, and they were 
compelled to subsist in a great measure on roots and herbs. 
One of their companions wandered off in search of game, and lost 
his way, and several days elapsed before he rejoined them. In his 
absence he was without flints and bullets, yet contrived to shoot 
some turkeys by using slugs cut from a pewter porringer and afire- 
brand to discharge his gun. Tonti fell sick of a fever and greatly 
retarded the progress of the march. Fearing Green Bay, the cold 
increased and the means of subsistence decreased and the party would 
have perished had they not found a few ears of corn and some froz- 
en squashes in the fields of a deserted village. Near the close of 
November they had reached the Pottawatomies, who warmly greet- 
ed them. Their chief was an ardent admirer of the French, and 
was accustomed to say: " There were but three great captains in the 
world,— himself, Tonti and LaSalle." For the above account of 
Tonti's encounter with the Iroquois, we are indebted to Davidson 
and Stuv6's History of Illinois. 

lasalle's return. 

LaSalle returned to Peoria only to meet the hideous picture of 
devastation. Tonti had escaped, but LaSalle knew not whither. Pass- 
ing down the lake in search of him and his men, LaSalle discov- 
ered that the fort had been destroyed; but the vessel which he had 
partly constructed was still on the stocks, and but slightly injured. 
After further fruitless search he fastened to a tree a painting repre- 
senting himself and party sitting in a canoe and bearing a pipe of 
peace, and to the painting attached a letter addressed to Tonti. 

LaSalle was born in France in 1643, of wealthy parentage, and edu- 
cated in a college of the Jesuits, from which he separated and came 
to Canada, a poor man, in 1666. He was a man of daring genius, 




and outstripped all his competitors in exploits of travel and com- 
merce with the Indians. He was granted a large tract of land at 
LaChine, where he established himself in the fur trade. In 1669 
he visited the headquarters of the great Iroquois confederacy, at 
Onondaga, New York, and, obtaining guides, explored the Ohio 
river to the falls at Louisville. For many years previous, it must 
be remembered, missionaries and traders were obliged to make their 
way to the Northwest through Canada on account of the fierce 
hostility of the Iroquois along the lower lakes and Niagara river, 
which entirely closed this latter route to the upper lakes. They 
carried on their commerce chiefly by canoes, paddling them through 
Ottawa river to Lake Nipissing, carrying them across the portage 
to French river, and descending that to Lake Huron. This being 
the route by. which they reached the Northwest, we have an explana- 
tion of the fact that all the earliest Jesuit missions were established 
in the neighborhood of the upper lakes. LaSalle conceived the 
grand idea of opening the route by Niagara river and the lower 
lakes to Canada commerce by sail vessels, connecting it with the 
navigation of the Mississippi, and thus opening a magnificent water 
communication from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the G-ulf of Mex- 
ico. This truly grand and comprehensive purpose seems to have 
animated him in his wonderful achievements, and the matchless 
difficulties and hardships he surmounted. As the first step in the 
accomplishment of this object he established himself on Lake 
Ontario, and built and garrisoned Fort Frontenac, the site of the 
present city of Kingston, Canada. Here he obtained a grant of 
land from the French crown, and a body of troops, by which he 
repulsed the Iroquois and opened passage to Niagara Falls. Hav- 
ing by this masterly stroke made it safe to attempt a hitherto 
untried expedition, his next step, as we have seen, was to build a 
ship with which to sail the lakes. He was successful in this under- 
taking, though his ultimate purpose was defeated by a strange com- 
bination of untoward circumstances. The Jesuits evidently hated 
LaSalle and plotted against him, because he had abandoned them 
and united with a rival order. The fur traders were also jealous of 
his success in opening new channels of commerce. While they were 
plodding with their bark canoes through the Ottawa, he was con- 
structing sailing vessels to command the trade of the lakes and the 
Mississippi. These great plans excited the jealousy and envy of 



small traders, introduced treason and revolt into the ranks of bis 
men, and finally led to the foal assassination by which his great 
achievements were permanently ended. 

lasalle's assassination. 
Again visiting the Illinois in the year 1682, LaSalle de- 
scended the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. He erected a 
standard upon which he inscribed the arms of France, and took 
formal possession of the whole valley of this mighty river in the 
name of Louis XIV., then reigning, and in honor of whom he named 
the country Louisiana. LaSalle then returned to France, was 
appointed Governor, and returned with a fleet of immigrants for the 
purpose of planting a colony in Illinois. They arrived in due time 
in the Gulf of Mexico, but failing to find the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi, up which they intended to sail, his supply ship, with the 
immigrants, was driven ashore and wrecked on Matagorda Bay. 
"With the fragments of the vessel he constructed rude huts and 
stockades on the shore for the protection of his followers, calling 
the post Fort St. Louis. He then made a trip into New Mexico 
in search of silver mines, but, meeting with disappointment, 
returned to find his colony reduced to forty souls. He then resolved 
to travel on foot to Illinois. With some twenty of his men they 
filed out of their fort on the 12th of January, 1687, and after the part- 
ing, — which was one of sighs, of tears, and of embraces, all seeming 
intuitively to know that they should see each other no more, — they 
started on their disastrous journey. Two of the party, Du Haut 
and Leotot, when on a hunting expedition in company with a 
nephew of LaSalle, assassinated him while asleep. The long 
absence of his nephew caused LaSalle to go in search of him. On 
approaching the murderers of his nephew, they fired upon him, kill- 
ing him instantly. They then despoiled the body of its clothing, 
and! ieft it to be devoured by the wild beasts of the forest. Thus, 
at the age of 43, perished one whose exploits have so greatly 
enriched the history of the New World. To estimate aright the 
marvels of his patient fortitude, one must follow on his track 
through the vast scene of his interminable journeyings, those thou- 
sands of weary miles of forest, marsh and river, where, again and 
again, in the bitterness of baffled striving, the untiring pilgrim 
pushed onward toward the goal he never was to attain. America 
owes him an enduring memory; for in this masculine figure, cast 




in iron, she sees the heroic pioneer who guided her to the possession 
of her richest heritage. 

Tonti, who had been stationed at the fort on the Illinois, learning 
of LaSalle's unsuccessful voyage, immediately started down the 
Mississippi to his relief. Beaching the Gulf, he found no traces of 
the colony. He then returned, leaving some of his men at the 
mouth of the Arkansas. These were discovered by the remnant of 
LaSalle's followers, who guided them to the fort on the Illinois, 
where they reported that LaSalle was in Mexico. The little band 
left at Fort St. Louis were finally destroyed by the Indians, and the 
murderers of LaSalle were shot. Thus ends the sad chapter of 
"Robert Cavalier de LaSalle's exploration. 



The first mission in Illinois, as we have already seen, was com- 
menced by Marquette in April, 1675. He called the religious 
society which he established the " Mission of the Immaculate Con- 
ception," and the town Kaskaskia. The first military occupation of 
the country was at Fort Crevecoeur, erected in 1680; but there is no 
evidence that a settlement was commenced there, or at Peoria, on 
the lake above, at that early date. The first settlement of which there 
is any authentic account was commenced with the building of Fort 
St. Louis on the Illinois river in 1682; but this was soon abandoned. 
The oldest permanent settlement, not only in Illinois, but in the val- 
ley of the Mississippi, is at Kaskaskia, situated six miles above the 
mouth of the Kaskaskia river. This was settled in 1690 by the 
removal of the mission from old Kaskaskia, or Ft. St. Louis, on the 
Illinois river. Cahokia was settled about the same time. The 
reason for the removal of the old Kaskaskia settlement and mission, 
was probably because the dangerous and difficult route by Lake 
Michigan and the Chicago portage had been almost abandoned, and 
travelers and traders traveled down and up the Mississippi by the 
Fox and Wisconsin rivers. It was removed to the vicinity of the 
Mississippi in order to be in the line of travel from Canada to 
Louisiana, that is, the lower part of it, for it was all Louisiana then 
south of the lakes. Illinois came into possession of the French in 
1682, and was a dependency of Canada and a part of Louisiana. 
During the period of French rule in Louisiana, the population 

~ V 



probably never exceeded ten thousand. To the year 1730 the fol- 
lowing five distinct settlements were made in the territory of 
Illinois, numbering, in population, 140 French families, about 600 
"converted " Indians, and many traders; Cahokia, near the mouth 
of Cahokia creek and about five miles below the present city of 
St. Louis; St. Philip, about forty-five miles below Cahokia; Fort 
Chartres, twelve miles above Kaskaskia; Kaskaskia, situated on the 
Kaskaskia river six miles above its confluence with the Mississippi, 
and Prairie du Rocher, near Fort Chartres. Fort Chartres was 
built under the direction of the Mississippi Company in 1718, and 
was for a time the headquarters of the military commandants of 
the district of Illinois, and the most impregnable fortress in North 
America. It was also the center of wealth and fashion in the West. 
For about eighty years the French retained peaceable possession 
of Illinois. Their amiable disposition and tact of ingratiating them- 
selves with the Indians enabled them to escape almost entirely the 
broils which weakened and destroyed other colonies. Whether 
exploring remote rivers or traversing hunting grounds in pursuit 
of game, in the social circle or as participants in the religious exer- 
cises of the church, the red men became their associates and were 
treated with the kindness and consideration of brothers. For more 
than a hundred years peace between the white man and the red was 
unbroken, and when at last this reign of harmony terminated it 
was not caused by the conciliatory Frenchman, but by the blunt 
and sturdy Anglo-Saxon. During this century, or until the coun- 
try was occupied by the English, no regular court was ever held. 
When, in 1765, the country passed into the hands of the English, 
many of the French, rather than submit to a change in their insti- 
tutions, preferred to leave their homes and seek a new abode. 
There are, however, at the present time a few remnants of the old 
French stock in the State, who still retain to a great extent the 
ancient habits and customs of their fathers. 


During the earliest period of French occupation of this country, 
M. Tonti, LaSalle's attendant, was commander-in-chief of all the 
territory embraced between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico, and 
extending east and west of the Mississippi as far as his ambition or 
imagination pleased to allow. He spent twenty-one years in estab- 
lishing forts and organizing the first settlements of Illinois. Sep- 

•7 « 



, N a — - -— — = 


tember 14, 1712, the French government granted a monopoly of all 
the trade and commerce of the country to M. Crozat, a wealthy 
merchant of Paris, who established a trading company in Illinois, 
and it was by this means that the early settlements became perma- 
nent and others established. Crozat surrendered his charter in 
1717, and the Company of the West, better known as the Missis- 
sippi Company, was organized, to aid and assist the banking system 
of John Law, the most famous speculator of modern times, and 
perhaps at one time the wealthiest private individual the world 
has ever known; but his treasure was transitory. Under the 
Company of the West a branch was organized called the Company 
of St. Philip's, for the purpose of working the rich silver mines sup- 
posed to be in Illinois, and Philip Eenanlt was appointed as its 
agent. In 1719 he sailed from France with two hundred miners, 
laborers and mechanics. During 1719 the Company of the West 
was by royal order united with the Royal Company of the Indies, 
and had the influence and support of the crown, who was deluded 
by the belief that immense wealth would flow into the empty treas- 
ury of France. This gigantic scheme, one of the most extensive 
and wonderful bubbles ever blown up to astonish, deceive and ruin 
thousands of people, was set in operation by the fertile brain of 
John Law. Law was born in Scotland in 1671, and so rapid had 
been his career that at the age of twenty-three he was a " bankrupt, 
an adulterer, a murderer and an exiled outlaw." But he possessed 
great financial ability, and by his agreeable and attractive manners, 
and his enthusiastic advocacy of his schemes, he succeeded in 
inflaming the imagination of the mercurial Frenchmen, whose greed 
for gain led them to adopt any plans for obtaining wealth. 

Law arrived in Paris with two and a half millions of francs, 
which he had gained at the gambling table, just at the right time. 
Louis XIY. had just died and left as a legacy empty coffers and an 
immense public debt. Every thing and everybody was taxed to 
the last penny to pay even the interest. All the sources of in- 
dustry were dried up; the very wind which wafted the barks of 
commerce seemed to have died away under the pressure of the 
time ; trade stood still ; the merchant, the trader, the artificer, once 
flourishing in affluence, were transformed into clamorous beggars. 
The life-blood that animated the kingdom was stagnated in all 
its arteries, and the danger of an awful crisis became such that 

6 ^ »V 


the nation was on the verge of bankruptcy. At this critical junc- 
ture John Law arrived and proposed his grand scheme of the 
Mississippi Company; 200,000 shares of stock at 500 livres each were 
at first issued. This sold readily and great profits were realized. 
More stock was issued, speculation became rife, the fever seized 
everybody, and the wildest speculating frenzy pervaded the whole 
nation. Illinois was thought to contain vast and rich mines of 
minerals. Kaskaskia, then scarcely more than the settlement of a 
few savages, was spoken of as an emporium of the most extensive 
traffic, and as rivaling some of the cities of Europe in refinement, 
fashion and religious culture. Law was in the zenith of his glory, and 
the people in the zenith of their infatuation. The high and the low, 
the rich and the poor, were at once filled with visions of untold 
wealth, and every age, set, rank and condition were buying and selling 
stocks. Law issued stock again and again, and readily sold until 
2,235,000,000 livres were in circulation, equaling about $450,000,000. 
While confidence lasted an impetus was given to trade never before 
known. An illusory policy everywhere prevailed, and so dazzled 
the eye that none could see in the horizon the dark cloud announc- 
ing the approaching storm. Law at the time was the most influ- 
ential man in Europe. His house was beset from morning till 
night with eager applicants for stock. Dukes, marquises and 
counts, with their wives and daughters, waited for hours in the 
street below his door. Finding his residence too small, he changed 
it for the Place Yendome, whither the crowd followed him, and the 
spacious square had the appearance of a public market. The boule- 
vards and public gardens were forsaken, and the Place Vendome 
became the most fashionable place in Paris; and he was unable to 
wait upon even one- tenth part of his applicants. The bubble burst 
after a few years, scattering ruin and distress in every direction. 
Law, a short time previous the most popular man in Europe, fled 
to Brussels, and in 1729 died in Venice, in obscurity and poverty. 


As early as 1750 there could be perceived the first throes of the 
revolution, which gave a new master and new institutions to Illi- 
nois. France claimed the whole valley of the Mississippi, and Eng- 
land the right to extend her possessions westward as far as she 
might desire. Through colonial controversies the two mother 



countries were precipitated into a bloody war within the North- 
western Territory, George Washington firing the first gun of the 
military struggle which resulted in the overthrow of the French 
not only in Illinois but in North America. The French evinced a 
determination to retain control of the territory bordering the Ohio 
and Mississippi from Canada to the Gulf, and bo long as the En- 
glish colonies were confined to the sea-coast there was little reason 
for controversy. As the English, however, became acquainted 
with this beautiful and fertile portion of our country, they not only 
learned the value of the vast territory, but also resolved to set up a 
counter claim to the soil. The French established numerous mili- 
tary and trading posts from the frontiers of Canada to New Or- 
leans, and in order to establish also their claims to jurisdiction over 
the country they carved the lilies of France on the forest trees, or 
sunk plates of metal in the ground. These measures did not, 
however, deter the English from going on with their explorations; 
and though neither party resorted to arms, yet the conflict was 
gathering, and it was only a question of time when the storm 
should burst upon the frontier settlement. The French based 
their claims upon discoveries, the English on grants of territory 
extending from ocean to ocean, but neither party paid the least 
attention to the prior claims of the Indians. From this posi- 
tion of affairs, it was evident that actual collision between the 
contending parties would not much longer be deferred. The En- 
glish Government, in anticipation of a war, urged the Governor 
of Virginia to lose no time in building two forts, which were 
equipped by arms from England. The French anticipated the 
English and gathered a considerable force to defend their possessions. 
The Governor determined to send a messenger to the nearest 
French post and demand an explanation. This resolution of the 
Governor brought into the history of our country for the first time 
the man of all others whom America most loves tojionor, namely, 
George "Washington. He was chosen, although not yet twenty-one 
years of age, as the one to perform this delicate and difficult mission. 
"With five companions he set out on Nov. 10, 1753, and after a per- 
ilous journey returned Jan. 6, 1754. The struggle commenced and 
continued long, and was bloody and fierce; but on the 10th of Octo- 
ber, 1765, the ensign of France was replaced on the ramparts of 
Fort Chartres by the flag of Great Britain. This fort was the 


ri/ (yiOMAA^i^riy 



depot of supplies and the place of rendezvous for the united forces 
of the French. At this time the colonies of the Atlantic seaboard 
were assembled in preliminary congress at New York, dreaming of 
liberty and independence for the continent; and Washington, who 
led the expedition against the French for the English king, in less 
than ten years was commanding the forces opposed to the English 
tyrant. Illinois, besides being constructively a part of Florida for 
over one hundred years, during which time no Spaniard set foot 
upon her soil or rested his eyes upon her beautiful plains, for nearly 
ninety years had been in the actual occupation of the French, their 
puny settlements slumbering quietly in colonial dependence on the 
distant waters of the Kaskaskia, Illinois and Wabash. 
gen. clark's exploits. 
The Northwest Territory was now entirely under English rule, 
and on the breaking out of the Revolutionary war the British held 
every post of importance in the West. While the colonists of the 
East were maintaining a fierce struggle with the armies of England, 
their western frontiers were ravaged by merciless butcheries of In- 
dian warfare. The jealousy <3f the savage was aroused to action by 
the rapid extension of American settlement westward aud the im- 
proper influence exerted by a number of military posts garrisoned by 
British troops. To prevent indiscriminate slaughters arising from 
these causes, Illinois became the theater of some of the most daring 
exploits connected with American history. The hero of the achieve- 
ments by which this beautiful land was snatched as a gem from 
the British Crown, was George Rogers Clark, of Virginia. He had 
closely watched the movements of the British throughout the 
Northwest, and understood their whole plan; he also knew the 
Indians were not unanimously in accord with the English, and 
therefore was convinced that if the British could be defeated and 
expelled from the Northwest, the natives might be easily awed into 
neutrality. Having convinced himself that the enterprise against 
the Illinois settlement might easily succeed, he repaired to the cap- 
ital of Virginia, arriving Nov. 5, 1777. While he was on his way, 
fortunately, Burgoyne was defeated (Oct. 17), and the spirits of the 
colonists were thereby greatly encouraged. Patrick Henry was 
Governor of Virginia, and at once entered heartily into Clark's 
plans. After satisfying the Virginia leaders of the feasibility of 
his project, he received two sets of instructions, — one secret, the 



other open. The latter authorized him to enlist seven companies 
to go to Kentucky, and serve three months after their arrival in 
the West. The secret order authorized him to arm these troops, 
to procure his powder and lead of General Hand at Pittsburg, and 
to proceed at once to subjugate the country. 


With these instructions Col. Clark repaired to Pittsburg, choos- 
ing rather to raise his men west of the mountains, as he well knew 
all were needed in the colonies in the conflict there. He sent Col. 
W. B. Smith to Holstein and Captains Helm and Bowman to 
other localities to enlist men; but none of them succeeded in rais- 
ing the required number. The settlers in these parts were afraid 
to leave their own firesides exposed to a vigilant foe, and but few 
could be induced to join the expedition. With these companies 
and several private volunteers Clark commenced his descent of the 
Ohio, which he navigated as far as the falls, where he took posses- 
sion of and fortified Corn Island, a small island between the present 
cities of Louisville, Ky., and New Albany, Ind. Here, after having 
completed his arrangements and announced to the men their real 
destination, he left a small garrison; and on the 24th of June, dur- 
ing a total eclipse of the sun, which to them augured no good, they 
floated down the river. His plan was to go by water as far as Fort 
Massac, and thence march direct to Kaskaskia. Here he intended to 
surprise the garrison, and after its capture go to Cahokia, then to 
Yincennes, and lastly to Detroit. Should he fail, he intended to 
march directly to the Mississippi river and cross it into the Spanish 
country. Before his start he received good items of information: 
one that an alliance had been formed between France and the United 
States, and the other that the Indians throughout the Illinois 
country and the inhabitants at the various frontier posts had been led 
by the British to believe that the " Long Knives," or Virginians, 
were the most fierce, bloodthirsty and cruel savages that ever scalped 
a foe. With this impression on their minds, Clark saw that 
proper management would cause them to submit at once from fear, 
if surprised, and then from gratitude would become friendly, if 
treated with unexpected lenity. The march to Kaskaskia was 
made through a hot July sun, they arriving on the evening of the 
4th of July, 1778. They captured the fort near the village and 
soon after the village itself, by surprise, and without the loss of 


a single man and without killing any of the enemy. After suffi- 
ciently working on the fears of the natives, Clark told them they 
were at perfect liberty to worship as they pleased, and to take 
whichever side of the great conflict they would; also he would pro- 
tect them against any barbarity from British or Indian foe. This 
had the desired effect; and the inhabitants, so unexpectedly and so 
gratefully surprised by the unlooked-for turn of affairs, at once 
swore allegiance to the American arms; and when Clark desired 
to go to Cahokia on the 6th of July, they accompanied him, and 
through their influence the inhabitants of the place surrendered 
and gladly placed themselves under his protection. 

In the person of M. Gibault, priest of Kaskaskia, Clark found a 
powerful ally and generous friend. Clark saw that, to retain pos- 
session of the Northwest and treat successfully with the Indians, he 
must establish a government for the colonies he had taken. St. Yin- 
cent, the post next in importance to Detroit, remained yet to be 
taken before the Mississippi valley was conquered. M. Gibault 
told him that he would alone, by persuasion, lead Vincennes to 
throw off its connection with England. Clark gladly accepted this 
offer, and July 14th, in company with a fellow-townsman, Gibault 
started on his mission of peace. On the 1st of August he returned 
with the cheerful intelligence that everything was peaceably ad- 
justed at Vincennes in favor of the Americans. During the inter- 
val, Col. Clark established his courts, placed garrisons at Kaskaskia 
and Cahokia, successfully re-enlisted his men, and sent word to 
have a fort (which proved the germ of Louisville) erected at the 
falls of the Ohio. 

While the American commander was thus negotiating with the 
Indians, Hamilton, the British Governor of Detroit, heard of Clark's 
invasion, and was greatly incensed because the country which he 
had in charge should be wrested from him by a few ragged militia. 
He therefore hurriedly collected a force, marched by way of the 
Wabash, and appeared before the fort at Vincennes. The inhabi- 
tants made an effort to defend the town, and when Hamilton's 
forces arrived, Captain Helm and a man named Henry were the 
only Americans in the fort. These men had been sent by Clark. 
The latter charged a cannon and placed it in the open gateway, and 
the Captain stood by it with a lighted match and cried out, as Ham- 
ilton came in hailing distance, "Halt!" The British officer, not 



knowing the strength of the garrison, stopped, and demanded the 
surrender of the fort. Helm exclaimed, " No man shall enter here 
till I know the terms." Hamilton responded, " You shall have the 
honors of war." The entire garrison consisted of one officer and one 


On taking Kaskaskia, Clark made a prisoner of Kocheblave, 
commander of the place, and got possession of all his written 
instructions for the conduct of the war. From these papers he 
received important information respecting the plans of Col. Ham- 
ilton, Governor at Detroit, who was intending to make a vigorous 
and concerted attack upon the frontier. After arriving at Vin- 
cennes, however, he gave up his intended campaign for the winter, 
and trusting to his distance from danger and to the difficulty of 
approaching him, sent off his Indian warriors to prevent troops from 
coming down the Ohio, and to annoy the Americans in all ways. Thus 
he sat quietly down to pass the winter with only about eighty soldiers, 
but secure, as he thought, from molestation. But he evidently did 
not realize the character of the men with whom he was contending. 
Clark, although he could muster only one hundred and thirty men, 
determined to take advantage of Hamilton's weakness and security, 
and attack him as the only means of saving himself; for unless he 
captured Hamilton, Hamilton would capture him. Accordingly, 
about the beginning of February, 1779, he dispatched a small galley 
which he had fitted out, mounted with two four-pounders and four 
swivels and manned with a company of soldiers, and carrying stores 
for his men, with orders to force her way up the Wabash, to take 
her station a few miles below Yincennes, and to allow no person to 
pass her. He himself marched with his little band, and spent six- 
teen days in traversing the country from Kaskaskia to Yincennes, 
passing with incredible fatigue through woods and marshes. He 
was five days in crossing the bottom lands of the "Wabash; and for 
five miles was frequently up to the breast in water. After over- 
coming difficulties which had been thought insurmountable, he 
appeared before the place and completely surprised it. The inhab- 
itants readily submitted, but Hamilton at first defended himself in 
the fort. Next day, however, he surrendered himself and his gar- 
rison prisoners-of-war. By his activity in encouraging the hostili- 
ties of the Indians and by the revolting enormities perpetrated by 

__———— . .. _ ■ _». 

• ■ 



those savages, Hamilton had rendered himself so obnoxious that he 
was thrown in prison and put in irons. During his command of 
the British frontier posts he offered prizes to the Indians for all the 
scalps of the Americans they would bring him, and earned in con- 
sequence thereof the title, "Hair-Buyer General," by which he was 
ever afterward known. 

The services of Clark proved of essential advantage to his coun- 
trymen. They disconcerted the plans of Hamilton, and not only saved 
the western frontier from depredations by the savages, but also 
greatly cooled the ardor of the Indians for carrying on a contest in 
which they were not likely to be the gainers. Had it not been for 
this small army, a union of all the tribes from Maine to Georgia 
against the colonies might have been effected, and the whole current 
of our history changed. 



In October, 1778, after the successful campaign of Col. Clark, the 
assembly of Virginia erected the conquered country, embracing all 
the territory northwest of the Ohio river, into the County of Illi- 
nois, which was doubtless the largest county in the world, exceeding 
in its dimensions the whole of Great Britian and Ireland. To speak 
more definitely, it contained the territory now embraced in the great 
States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. On the 
12th of December, 1778, John Todd was appointed Lieutenant- 
Commandant of this county by Patrick Henry, then Governor of 
Virginia, and accordingly, also, the first of Illinois County. 


Illinois continued to form a part of Virginia until March 1, 1784, 
when that State ceded all the territory north of the Ohio to the 
United States. Immediately the general Government proceeded to 
establish a form of government for the settlers in the territories 
thus ceded. This form continued until the passage of the ordi- 
nance of 1787, for the government of the Northwestern Terri- 
tory. No man can study the secret history of this ordinance and 
not feel that Providence was guiding with sleepless eye the des- 

•4* — *- _ — "k, 


tinies of these unborn States. American legislation has never 
achieved anything more admirable, as an internal government, 
than this comprehensive ordinance. Its provisions concerning the 
distribution of property,, the principles of civil and religious liberty 
which it laid at the foundation of the communities since established, 
and the efficient and simple organization by which it created the 
first machinery of civil society, are worthy of all the praise that has 
ever been given them. 


This ordinance has a marvelous and interesting history. Con- 
siderable controversy has been indulged in as to who is entitled to 
the credit for framing it. This belongs, undoubtedly, to Nathan 
Dane; and to Rufus King and Timothy Pickering belong the 
credit for suggesting the proviso contained in it against slavery, 
and also for aids to religion and knowledge, and for assuring for- 
ever the common use, without charge, of the great national high- 
ways of the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence and their tributaries to 
all the citizens of the United States. To Thomas Jefferson is also 
due much credit, as some features of this ordinance were embraced 
in his ordinance of 1784. But the part taken by each in the long, 
laborious and eventful struggle which had so glorious a consum- 
mation in the ordinance, consecrating forever, by one imprescript- 
ible and unchangeable monument, the very heart of our country to 
Freedom, Knowledge, and Union, will forever honor the names of 
those illustrious statesmen. 

Mr. Jefferson had vainly tried to secure a system of government 
for the Northwestern Territory. He was an emancipationist and 
favored the exclusion of slavery from the territory, but the South 
voted him down every time he proposed a measure of this nature. 
In 1787, as late as July 10, an organizing act without the anti- 
slavery clause was pending. This concession to the South was 
expected to carry it. Congress was in session in New York. On 
July 5, Eev. Manasseh Cutler, of Massachusetts, came into New 
York to lobby on the Northwestern Territory. Everything 
seemed to fall into his hands. Events were ripe. The state of the 
public credit, the growing of Southern prejudice, the basis of his 
mission, his personal character, all combined to complete one of 
those sudden and marvelous revolutions of public sentiment that 


— - _ ^ - -*k. 


once in five or ten centuries are seen to sweep over a country like 
the breath of the Almighty. 

Cutler was a graduate of Yale. He had studied and taken de- 
grees in the three learned professions, medicine, law, and divinity. 
He had published a scientific examination of the plants of New 
England. As a scientist in America his name stood second only to 
that of Franklin He was a courtly gentleman of the old style, 
a man of commanding presence and of inviting face. The Southern 
members said they had never seen such a gentleman in the North. 
He came representing a Massachusetts company that desired to 
purchase a tract of land, now included in Ohio, for the purpose of 
planting a colony. It was a speculation. Government money was 
worth eighteen cents on the dollar. This company had collected 
enough to purchase 1,500,000 acres of land. Other speculators in 
New York made Dr. Cutler their agent, which enabled him to 
represent a demand for 5,500,000 acres. As this would reduce the 
national debt, and Jefferson's policy was to provide for the public 
credit, it presented a good opportunity to do something. 

Massachusetts then owned the territory of Maine, which she wa6 
crowding on the market. She was opposed to opening the North- 
western region. This fired the zeal of Virginia. The South caught 
the inspiration, and all exalted Dr. Cutler. The entire South ral- 
lied around him. Massachusetts could not vote against him, be- 
cause many of the constituents of her members were interested 
personally in the Western speculation. Thus Cutler, making 
friends in the South, and doubtless using all the arts of the lobby, 
was enabled to command the situation. True to deeper convic- 
tions, he dictated one of the most compact and finished documents 
of wise statesmanship that has ever adorned any human law book. 
He borrowed from Jefferson the term "Articles of Compact," which, 
preceding the federal constitution, rose into the most sacred char- 
acter. He then followed very closely the constitution of Massa- 
chusetts, adopted three years' before. Its most prominent points 

1. The exclusion of slavery from the territory forever. 

2. Provision for public schools, giving one township for a semi- 
nary and every section numbered 16 in each township; that is, one 
thirty -sixth of all the land for public schools. 

3. A provision prohibiting the adoption of any constitution or 




the enactment of any law that should nullify pre-existing contracts. 
Beit forever remembered that this compact declared that "re- 
ligion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good govern- 
ment and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of edu- 
cation shall always be encouraged." Dr. Cutler planted himself 
on this platform and would not yield. Giving his unqualified dec- 
laration that it was that or nothing, — that unless they could make 
the land desirable they did not want it, — he took his horse and buggy 
and started for the constitutional convention at Philadelphia. On 
July 13, 1787, the bill was put upon its passage, and was unani- 
mously adopted. Thus the great States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, 
Michigan, and Wisconsin, a vast empire, were consecrated to free- 
dom, intelligence, and morality. Thus the great heart of the nation 
was prepared to save the union of States, for it was this act that was 
the salvation of the republic and the destruction of slavery. Soon 
the South saw their great blunder and tried to have the compact 
repealed. In 1803 Congress referred it to a committee, of which 
John Randolph was chairman. He reported that this ordinance 
was a compact and opposed repeal. Thus it stood, a rock in the 
way of the on-rushing sea of slavery. 


"With all this timely aid it was, however, a most desperate and 
protracted struggle to keep the soil of Illinois sacred to freedom. 
It was the natural battle-field for the irrepressible conflict. In the 
southern end of the State slavery preceded the compact. It ex- 
isted among the old French settlers, and was hard to eradicate. 
That portion was also settled from the slave States, and this popu- 
lation brought their laws, customs, and institutions with them. A 
stream of population from the North poured into the northern part 
of the State. These sections misunderstood and hated each other 
perfectly. The Southerners regarded the Yankees as a skinning, 
tricky, penurious race of peddlers, filling the country with tinware, 
brass clocks, and wooden nutmegs. The Northerner thought of the 
Southerner as a lean, lank, lazy creature, burrowing in a hut, and 
rioting in whisky, dirt, and ignorance. These causes aided in 
making the struggle long and bitter. So strong was the sympathy 
with slavery that, in spite of the ordinance of 1787, and in spite of 
the deed of cession, it was determined to allow the old French set- 
tlers to retain their slaves. Planters from the slave States might 




bring their slaves if they would give them an opportunity to choose 
freedom or years of service and bondage for their children till they 
should become thirty years of age. If they chose freedom they 
must leave the State within sixty days, or be sold as fugitives. 
Servants were whipped for offenses for which white men were fined. 
Each lash paid forty cents of the fine. A negro ten miles from 
home without a pass was whipped. These famous laws were im- 
ported from the slave States, just as the laws for the inspection of 
flax and wool were imported when there was neither in the State. 


On October 5, 1787, Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair was, by Congress, 
elected Governor of this vast territory. St. Clair was born in Scot- 
land and emigrated to America in 1755. He served in the French 
and English war, and was major general in the Revolution. In 
1786 he was elected to Congress and chosen President of that body. 



After the division of the Northwestern Territory Illinois became 
one of the counties of the Territory of Indiana, from which it was 
separated by an act of Congress Feb. 3, 1809, forming the Territory 
of Illinois, with a population estimated at 9,000, and then included 
the present State of "Wisconsin. It was divided, at the time, into 
two counties, — St. Clair and Randolph. John Boyle, of Ken- 
tucky, was appointed Governor, by the President, James Madison, 
but declining, Ninian Edwards, of the same State, was then 
appointed and served with distinction; and after the organization 
of Illinois as a State he served in the same capacity, being its third 


For some years previous to the war between the United States 
and England in 1812, considerable trouble was experienced with the 
Indians. Marauding bands of savages would attack small settle- 
ments and inhumanly butcher all the inhabitants, and mutilate 
their dead bodies. To protect themselves, the settlers organized 
companies of rangers, and erected block houses and stockades in 
every settlement. The largest, strongest and best one of these was 
Fort Russell, near the present village of Edwardsville. This stockade 


< yt^ - - — 9 k, 


was made the main rendezvous for troops and military stores, and 
Gov. Edwards, who during the perilous times of 1812, when Indian 
hostilities threatened on every hand, assumed command of the Illi- 
nois forces, established his headquarters at this place. The Indians 
were incited to many of these depredations by English emissaries, 
who for years continued their dastardly work of "setting the red 
men, like dogs, upon the whites." 

In the summer of 1811 a peace convention was held with the 
Pottawatomies at Peoria, when they promised that peace should 
prevail; but their promises were soon broken. Tecumseh, the great 
warrior, and fit successor of Pontiac, started in the spring of 1811, 
to arouse the Southern Indians to war against the whites. The pur- 
pose of this chieftain was well known to Gov. Harrison, of Indiana 
Territory, who determined during Tecumseh's absence to strike and 
disperse the hostile forces collected at Tippecanoe. This he success- 
fully did on Nov. 7, winning the sobriquet of " Tippecanoe," by 
which he was afterwards commonly known. Several peace councils 
were held, at which the Indians promised good behavior, but only 
to deceive the whites. Almost all the savages of the Northwest 
were thoroughly stirred up and did not desire peace. The British 
agents at various points, in anticipation of a war with the United 
States, sought to enlist the favor of the savages by distributing to 
them large supplies of arms, ammunition and other goods. 

The English continued their insults to our flag upon the high 
seas, and their government refusing to relinquish its offensive course, 
all hopes of peace and safe commercial relations were abandoned, 
and Congress, on the 19th of June, 1812, formally declared war 
against Great Britain. In Illinois the threatened Indian troubles 
had already caused a more thorough organization of the militia and 
greater protection by the erection of forts. As intimated, the In- 
dians took the war-path long before the declaration of hostilities 
between the two civilized nations, committing great depredations, 
the most atrocious of which was the 


During the war of 1812 between the United States and England, 
the greatest, as well as the most revolting, massacre of whites that 
ever occurred in Illinois, was perpetrated by the Pottawatomie In- 
dians, at Fort Dearborn. This fort was built by the Government, 
in 1804, on the south 6ide of the Chicago river, and was garrisoned 



by 54 men under command of Capt. Nathan Heald, assisted by 
Lieutenant Helm and Ensign Konan; Dr. Voorhees, surgeon. The 
residents at the post at that time were the wives of officers Heald 
and Helm and a few of the soldiers, Mr. Kinzie and his family, and 
a few Canadians. The soldiers and Mr. Kinzie were on the most 
friendly terms with the Pottawatomies and Winnebagoes, the prin- 
cipal tribes around them. 

On the 7th of August, 1812, arrived the order from Gen. Hull, at 
Detroit, to evacuate Fort Dearborn, and distribute all United States 
property to the Indians. Chicago was so deep in the wilderness 


that this was the first intimation the garrison received of the dec- 
laration of war made on the 19th of June. The Indian chief who 
brought the dispatch advised Capt. Heald not to evacuate, and 
that if he should decide to do so, it be done immediately, and by 
forced marches elude the concentration of the savages before the 
news could be circulated among them. To this most excellent ad- 
vice the Captain gave no heed, but on the 12th held a council with 

_l to 


the Indians, apprising them of the orders received, and offering a 
liberal reward for an escort of Pottawatomies to Fort Wayne. The 
Indians, with many professions of friendship, assented to all he 
proposed, and promised all he required. The remaining officers re- 
fused to join in the council, for they had been informed that treach- 
ery was designed,— that the Indians intended to murder those in 
the council, and then destroy those in the fort. The port holes were 
open, displaying cannons pointing directly upon the council. This 
action, it is supposed, prevented a massacre at that time. 

Mr. Kinzie, who knew the Indians well, begged Capt. Heald 
not to confide in their promises, or distribute the arms and ammu- 
nitions among them, for it would only put power in their hands to 
destroy the whites. This argument, true and excellent in itself, 
was now certainly inopportune, and would only incense the treach- 
erous foe. But the Captain resolved to follow it, and accordingly on 
the night of the 13th, after the distribution of the other property, the 
arms were broker), and the barrels of whisky, of which there was a 
large quantity, were rolled quietly through the sally-port, their 
heads knocked in and their contents emptied into the river. On that 
night the lurking red-skins crept near the fort and discovered the 
destruction of the promised booty going on within. The next morn- 
ing the powder was seen floating on the surface of the river, and 
the Indians asserted that such an abundance of " fire-water" had 
been emptied into the river as to make it taste " groggy." Many 
of them drank of it freely. 

On the 14th the despondiDg garrison was somewhat cheered by 
the arrival of Capt. Wells, with 15 friendly Miamis. Capt. Wells 
heard at Fort Wayne of the order to evacuate Fort Dearborn, and 
knowing the hostile intentions of the Indians, made a rapid march 
through the wilderness to protect, if possible, his niece, Mrs. Heald, 
and the officers and the garrison from certain destruction. But 
he came too late. Every means for its defense had been destroyed 
the night before, and arrangements were made for leaving the fort 
on the following morning. 

The fatal morning of the 16th at length dawned brightly on the 
world. The sun shone in unclouded splendor upon the glassy waters 
of Lake Michigan. At 9 a. m., the party moved out of the south- 
ern gate of the fort, in military array. The band, feeling the solem- 
nity of the occasion, struck up the Dead March in Saul. Capt. 




Wells, with his face blackened after the manner of the Indians, led 
the advance guard at the head of his friendly Miamis, the garrison 
with loaded arms, the baggage wagons with the sick, and the women 
and children following, while the Pottawatomie Indians, about 500 
in number, who had pledged their honor to escort the whites in 
safety to Fort "Wayne, brought up the rear. The party took the 
road along the lake shore. On reaching the range of sand-hills 
separating the beach from the prairie, about one mile and a half- 
from the fort, the Indians denied to the right into the prairie, bring 
ing the sand-hills between them and the whites. This divergence 
was scarcely effected when Capt. Wells, who had kept in advance 
with his Indians, rode furiously back and exclaimed, " They are 
about to attack us. Form instantly and charge upon them!" 
These words were scarcely uttered before a volley of balls from 
Indian muskets was poured in upon them. The troops were hastily 
formed into line, and charged up the bank. One veteran of 70 fell 
as they ascended. The Indians were driven back to the prairie, and 
then the battle was waged by 54 soldiers, 12 civilians, and three or 
four women — the cowardly Miamis having fled at the outset — 
against 500 Indian warriors. The whites behaved gallantly, and 
sold their lives dearly. They fought desperately until two-thirds 
of their number were slain; the remaining 27 surrendered. And 
now the most sickening and heart-rending butchery of this calam- 
itous day was committed by a young savage, who assailed one of 
the baggage wagons containing 12 children, every one of which fell 
beneath his murderous tomahawk. When Capt. Wells, who with 
the others had become prisoner, beheld this scene at a distance, he 
exclaimed in a tone loud enough to be heard by the savages, " If 
this be your game, 1 can kill too;" and turning his horse, started 
for the place where the Indians had left their squaws and children. 
The Indians hotly pursued, but he avoided their deadly bullets for 
a time. Soon his horse was killed and he severely wounded. With 
a yell the young braves rushed to make him their prisoner and re- 
serve him for torture. But an enraged warrior stabbed him in the 
back, and he fell dead. His heart was afterwards taken out, cut in 
pieces and distributed among the tribes. Billy Caldwell, a half- 
breed Wyandot, well-known in Chicago long afterward, buried his 
remains the next day. Wells street in Chicago, perpetuates his 


la this fearful combat women bore a conspicuous part. A wife 
of one of the soldiers, who had frequently heard that the Indians 
subjected their prisoners to tortures worse than death, resolved not 
to be taken alive, and continued fighting until she was literally cut 
to pieces. Mrs. Heald was an excellent equestrian, and an expert 
in the use of the rifle. She fought bravely, receiving several wounds. 
Though faint from loss of blood, she managed to keep in her saddle. 
A savage raised his tomahawk to kill her, when she looked him full 
in the face, and with a sweet smile and gentle voice said, in his 
own language, " Surely you will not kill a squaw." The arm of 
of the savage fell, and the life of this heroic woman was saved. 
Mrs. Helm had an encounter with a stalwart Indian, who attempted 
to tomahawk her. Springing to one side, she received the glancing 
blow on her shoulder, and at the same time she seized the savage 
round the neck and endeavored to get his scalping-knife which 
hung in a sheath at his breast. While she was thus struggling, she 
was dragged from his grasp by another and an older Indian. The 
latter bore her, struggling and resisting, to the lake and plunged 
her in. She soon perceived it was not his intention to drown her, 
because he held her in such a position as to keep her head out of 
the water. She recognized him to be a celebrated chief called 
Black Partridge. When the firing ceased she was conducted up 
the sand-bank. 


The prisoners were taken back to the Indian camp, when a new 
scene of horror was enacted. The wounded not being included in 
the terms of the surrender, as it was interpreted by the Indians, 
and the British general, Proctor, having offered a liberal bounty for 
American scalps, nearly all the wounded were killed and scalped, 
and the price of the trophies was afterwards paid by the British 
general. In the stipulation of surrender, Capt. Heald had not 
particularly mentioned the wounded. These helpless sufferers, on 
reaching the Indian camp, were therefore regarded by the brutal 
savages as fit subjects upon which to display their cruelty and satisfy 
their desire for blood. Eeferring to the terrible butchery of the 
prisoners, in an account given by Mrs. Helm, she says: "An old 
squaw, infuriated by the loss of friends or excited by the sanguin- 
ary scenes around her, seemed possessed of demoniac fury. She 
seized a stable-fork and assaulted one miserable victim, who lay 




at night, within a few miles of the village, without their presence 
being known to the Indians. Four men were sent out that night 
to reconnoiter the position of the village. The four brave men who 
volunteered for this perilous service were Thomas Carlin (after- 
ward Governor), and Eobert, Stephen and Davis Whiteside. They, 
proceeded to the village, and explored it and the approaches to it 
thoroughly, without starting an Indian or provoking the bark of a 
dog. The low lands between the Indian village and the troops were 
covered with a rank growth of tall grass, so highland dense as to 
readily conceal an Indian on horseback, until within a few feet of 
him. The ground had become still more yielding by recent rains, 
rendering it almost impassable by mounted men. To prevent de- 
tection, the soldiers had camped without lighting the usual camp- 
fires. The men lay down in their cold and cheerless camp, with 
many misgivings. They well remembered how the skulking sav- 
ages fell upon Harrison's men at Tippecanoe during the night. To 
add to their fears, a gun in the hands of a soldier was carelessly 
discharged, raising great consternation in the camp. 


Through a dense fog which prevailed the following morning, the 
army took up its line of march for the Indian town, Capt. Judy 
with his corps of spies in advance. In the tall grass they came up 
with an Indian and his squaw, both mounted. The Indian wanted 
to surrender, but Judy observed that he "did not leave home to take 
prisoners," and instantly shot one of them. With the blood 
streaming from his mouth and nose, and in his agony " singing the 
death song," the dying Indian raised his gun, shot and mortally 
wounded a Mr. Wright, and in a few minutes expired. Many guns 
were immediately discharged at the other Indian, not then known 
to be a squaw, all of which missed her. Badly scared, and her hus- 
band killed by her side, the agonizing wails of the squaw were 
heart-rending. She was taken prisoner, and afterwards restored 
to her nation. 


On nearing the town a general charge was made, the Indians 
fleeing to the interior wilderness. Some of their warriors made a 
stand, when a sharp engagement occurred, but the Indians were 
routed. In their flight they left behind all their winter's store of 




provisions, which was taken, and their town burned. Some Indian 
children were found who had been left in 1 he hurried flight, also 
some disabled adults, one of whom was in a starving condition and 
with a voracious appetite partook of the bread given him. He is 
said to have been killed by a cowardly trooper straggling behind, 
after the main army had resumed its retrograde march, who wanted 
to be able to boast that he had killed an Indian. 

About the time Gov. Edwards started with his little band against 
the Indians, Gen. Hopkins, with 2,000 Kentucky riflemen, left 
Yincennes to cross the prairies of Illinois and destroy the Indian 
villages along the Illinois river. Edwards, with his rangers, ex- 
pected to act in concert with Gen. Hopkins' riflemen. After 
marching 80 or 90 miles into the enemy's country, Gen. Hopkins' 
men became dissatisfied, and on Oct. 20 the entire army turned 
and retreated homeward before even a foe had been met. After the 
victory of the Illinois rangers they heard nothing of Gen. Hopkins 
and bis 2,000 mouuted Kentucky riflemen; and apprehensive that a 
large force of warriors would be speedily collected, it was -deemed 
prudent not to protract their stay, and accordingly the retrograde 
march was commenced the very day of the attack. 


The force of Oapt. Craig, in charge of the provision boats, was 
not idle during this time. They proceeded to Peoria, where they 
were fired on by ten Indiana during the night, who immediately 
fled. Capt. Craig discovered, at daylight, their tracks leading up 
into the French town. He inquired of the French their where- 
abouts, who denied all knowledge of them, and said they " had 
heard or seen nothing; " but he took the entire number prisoners, 
burned and destroyed Peoria, and bore the captured inhabitants 
away on his boats to a point below the present city of Alton, where 
he landed and left them in the woods, — men, women, and children, — 
in the inclement month of November, without shelter, and without 
food other than the slender stores they had themselves gathered up 
before their departure. They found their way to St. Louis in an 
almost starving condition. The burning of Peoria and taking its 
inhabitants prisoners, on the mere suspicion that they sympathized 
with the Indians, was generally regarded as a needless, if not 
wanton, act of military power. 






In the early part of 1813, the country was put in as good defense 
as the sparse population admitted. In spite of the precaution taken, 
numerous depredations and murders were committed by the In- 
dians, which again aroused the whites, and another expedition was 
sent against the foe, who had collected in large numbers in and 
around Peoria. This army was composed of about 900 men, collect- 
ed from both Illinois and Missouri, and under command of Gen. 
Howard. They marched across the broad prairies of Illinois to 
Peoria, where there was a small stockade in charge of United States 
troops. Two days previously the Indians made an attack on the 
fort, but were repulsed. Being in the enemy's country, knowing 
their stealthy habits, and the troops at no time observing a high de- 
gree of discipline, many unnecessary night alarms occurred, yet the 
enemy were far away. The army marched up the lake to Chili- 
cothe, burning on its way two deserted villages. At the present 
site of Peoria the troops remained in camp several weeks. While 
there they built a fort, which they named in honor of Gen. George 
Rogers Clark, who with his brave. Virginians wrested Illinois from 
the English during the Revolutionary struggle. This fort was de- 
stroyed by fire in 1818. It gave a name to Peoria which it wore for 
several years. After the building of Fort Crevecceur, in 1680, Peo- 
ria lake was very familiar to "Western travel and history; but there 
is no authentic account of a permanent European settlement there 
until 1778, when Laville de Meillet, named after its founder, was 
started. Owing to the quality of the water and its greater salu- 
brity, the location was changed to the present site of Peoria, and by 
1796 the old had been entirely abandoned for the new village. 
After its destruction in 1812 it was not settled again until 1819, 
and then by American pioneers, though in 1813 Fort Clark was 
built there. 


The second campaign against the Indians at Peoria closed with- 
out an engagement, or even a sight of the enemy, yet great was the 
benefit derived from it. It showed to the Indians the power and 
resources of his white foe. Still the calendar of the horrible deeds 
of butchery of the following year is long and bloody. A joint ex- 
pedition again moved against the Indians in 1814, under Gov. 

i IS 



Clark of Missouri. This time they went up the Mississippi in 
barges, Prairie du Ohien being the point of destination. There they 
found a small garrison of British troops, which, however, soon fled, 
as did the inhabitants, leaving Clark in full possession. He im- 
mediately set to work and erected Fort Shelby. The Governor 
returned to St. Louis, leaving his men in peaceable possession of 
the place, but a large force of British and Indians came down upon 
them, and the entire garrison surrendered. In the mean time Gen. 
Howard sent 108 men to strengthen the garrison. Of this number 
66 were Illinois rangers, under Capts. Rector and Biggs, who oc- 
cupied two boats. The remainder were with Lieut. Campbell. 


At Bock Island Campbell was warned to turn back, as an attack 
was contemplated. The other boats passed on up the river and 
were some two miles ahead when Campbell's barge was struck by a 
strong gale which forced it against a small island near the Illinois 
shore. Thinking it best to lie to till the wind abated, sentinels 
were stationed while the men went ashore to cook breakfast. At 
this time a large number of Indians on the main shore under 
Black Hawk commenced an attack. The savages in canoes passed 
rapidly to the island, and with a war-whoop rushed upon the men, 
who retreated and sought refuge in the barge. A battle of brisk 
musketry now ensued between the few regulars aboard the stranded 
barge and the hordes of Indians under cover of trees on the island, 
with severe loss to the former. Meanwhile Capt. Bector and Biggs, 
ahead with their barges, seeing the smoke of battle, attempted to 
return ; but in the strong gale Biggs' boat became unmanageable 
and was stranded on the rapids. Bector, to avoid a similar disaster, 
let go his anchor. The rangers, however, opened with good aim 
and telling effect upon the savages. The unequal combat having 
raged for some time and about closing, the commander's barge, 
with many wounded and several dead on board,— among the former 
of whom, very badly, was Campbell himself, — was discovered to be 
on fire. Now Bector and his brave Illinois rangers, comprehending 
the horrid situation, performed, without delay, as cool and heroic a 
deed— and did it well— as ever imperiled the life of mortal man. 
In the howling gale, in full view of hundreds of infuriated savages, 
and within range of their rifles, they deliberately raised anchor, 



lightened their barge by casting overboard quantities of provisions, 
and guided it with the utmost labor down the swift current, to the 
windward of the burning barge, and under the galling fire of the 
enemy rescued all the survivors, and removed the wounded and 
dying to their vessel. This was a deed of noble daring and as 
heroic as any performed during the war in the West. Rector hur- 
ried with his over-crowded vessel to St. Louis. 

It was now feared that Riggs and his company were captured 
and sacrificed by the savages. His vessel, which was strong and well 
armed, was for a time surrounded by the Indians, but the whites 
on the inside were well sheltered. The wind becoming allayed in 
the evening, the boat, under cover of the night, glided safely down 
the river without the loss of a single man. 


Notwithstanding the disastrous termination of the two expedi- 
tions already sent out, during the year 1814, still another was pro- 
jected. It was under Maj. Zachary Taylor, afterward President. 
Rector and Whiteside, with the Illinoisan, were in command of 
boats. The expedition passed Rock Island unmolested, when it 
was learned the country was not only swarming with Indians, but 
that the English were there in command with a detachment of regu- 
lars and artillery. The advanced boats in command of Rector, White- 
side and Hempstead, turned about and began to descend the rapids, 
fighting with great gallantry the hordes of the enemy, who were 
pouring their fire into them from the shore at every step. 

Near the mouth of Rock river Maj. Taylor anchored his fleet out 
in the Mississippi. During the night the English planted a battery 
of six pieces down at the water's edge, to sink or disable the boats, 
and filled the islands with red-skins to butcher the whites, who 
might, unarmed, seek refuge there. But in this scheme they were 
frustrated. In the morning Taylor ordered all the force, except 20 
boatmen on each vessel, to the upper island to dislodge the enemy. 
The order was executed with great gallantry, the island scoured, 
many of the savages killed, and the rest driven to the lower island. 
In the meantime the British cannon told with effect upon the fleet. 
The men rushed back and the boats were dropped down the stream 
(Hit of range of the cannon. Capt. Rector was now ordered with 
his company to make a sortie on the lower island, which he did, 



driving the Indians back among the willows ; but they being re-in- 
forced, in turn hurled Rector back upon the sand-beach. 

A council of officers called by Taylor had by this time decided 
that their force was too small to contend with the enemy, who 
outnumbered them three to one, and the boats were in full retreat 
down the river. As Eector attempted to get under way his boat 
grounded, and the savages, with demoniac yells, surrounded it, 
when a most desperate hand-to-hand conflict ensued. The gallant 
ranger, Samuel "Whiteside, observing the imminent peril of his 
brave Illinois comrade, went immediately to his rescue, who but for 
his timely aid would undoubtedly have been overpowered, with all 
his force, and murdered. 

Thus ended the last, like the two previous expeditions up the 
Mississippi during the war of 1812, in defeat and disaster. The 
enemy was in undisputed posession of all the country north of the 
Illinois river, and the prospects respecting those territories boded 
nothing but gloom. With the approach of winter, however, Indian 
depredations ceased to be committed, and the peace of Ghent, Dec. 
24, 1814, closed the war. 



In January of 181 8 the Territorial Legislature forwarded to 
Nathaniel Pope, delegate in Congress from Illinois, a petition pray- 
inc for admission into the national Union as a State. On April 
18th of the same year Congress passed the enabling act, and Dec. 
3, after the State government had been organized and Gov. Bond 
had signed the Constitution, Congress by a resolution declared Illi- 
nois to be "one of the United States of America, and admitted into 
the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all 

The ordinance of 1787 declared that there should be at least three 
States carved out of the Northwestern Territory. The boundaries 
of the three, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, were fixed by this law. 
Congress reserved the power, however, of forming two other States 
out of the territory which lies north of an east and west line drawn 
through the southern boundary of Lake Michigan. It was generally 
conceded that this line would be the northern boundary of Illinois ; 




but as this would give the State no coast on Lake Michigan; and 
rob her of the port of Chicago and the northern terminus of the 
Illinois & Michigan canal which was then contemplated, Judge 
Pope had the northern boundary moved fifty miles further north. 


Not only is Illinois indebted to Nathaniel Pope for the port where 
now enter and depart more vessels during the year than in any 
other port in the world, for the northern terminus of the Illinois 
& Michigan canal, and for the lead mines at Galena, but the nation, 
the undivided Union, is largely indebted to him for its perpetuity. 
It was he, — his foresight, statesmanship and energy, — that bound 
our confederated Union with bands of iron that can never be broken. 
The geographical position of Illinois, with her hundreds of miles 
of water-courses, is such as to make her the key to the grand arch 
of Northern and Southern States. Extending from the great chain 
of lakes on the north, with snow and ice of the arctic region, to the 
cotton-fields of Tennessee ; peopled, as it is, by almost all races, 
classes and conditions of the human family ; guided by the various 
and diversified political, agricultural, religious and educational 
teachings common to both North and South, — Illinois can control, 
and has controlled, the destinies of our united and beloved republic. 
Pope seemingly foresaw that a struggle to dissolve the Union would 
be made. With a prophetic eye he looked down the stream of time 
for a half century and saw the great conflict between the South and 
North, caused by a determination to dissolve the confederation of 
States; and to preserve the Union, he gave to Illinois a lake coast. 

Gov. Ford, in his History of Illinois, written in 1847, while 
speaking of this change of boundary and its influence upon our 
nation, says: 

"What, then, was the duty of the national Government? Illinois 
was certain to be a great State, with any boundaries which that 
Government could give. Its great extent of territory, its unrivaled 
fertility of soil and capacity for sustaining a dense population, 
together with its commanding position, would in course of time 
i^ive the new State a very controlling influence with her sister 
States situated upon the Western rivers, either in sustaining the 
federal Union as it is, or in dissolving it and establishing new gov- 
ernments. If left entirely upon the waters of these great rivers, it 



was plain that, in case of threatened disruption, the interest of the 
new State would be to join a Southern and Western confederacy; 
but if a large portion of it could be made dependent upon the com- 
merce and navigation of the great northern lakes, connected as they 
are with the Eastern States, a rival interest would be created to 
check the wish for a Western and Southern confederacy. 

"It therefore became the duty of the national Government not 
only to make Illinois strong, but to raise an interest inclining and 
binding her to the Eastern and Northern portions of the Union. 
This could be done only through an interest in the lakes. At that 
time the commerce on the lakes was small, but its increase was con- 
fidently expected, and, indeed, it has exceeded all anticipations, 
and is yet only in its infancy. To accomplish this object effectually, 
it was not only Decessary to give to Illinois the port of Chicago and 
a route for the canal, but a considerable coast on Lake Michigan, 
with a country back of it sufficiently extensive to contain a popu- 
lation capable of exerting a decided influence upon the councils of 
the State. 

" There would, therefore, be a large commerce of the north, west- 
ern and central portion of the State afloat on the lakes, for it was 
then foreseen that the canal would be made; and this alone would 
be like turning one of the many mouths of the Mississippi into 
Lake Michigan at Chicago. A very large commerce of the center 
and south would be found both upon the lakes and rivers. Asso- 
ciations in business, in interest, and of friendship would be formed, 
both with the North and the South. A State thus situated, having 
such a decided interest in the commerce, and in the preservation of 
the whole confederacy, can never consent to disunion ; for the Union 
cannot be dissolved without a division and disruption of the State 
itself. These views, urged by Judge Pope, obtained the unquali- 
fied assent of the statesmen of 1818. 

" These facts and views are worthy to be recorded in history as 
a standing and perpetual call upon Illinoisans of every age to 
remember the great trust which has been reposed in them, as the 
peculiar champions and guardians of the Union by the great men 
and patriot sages who adorned and governed this country in the 
earlier and better days of the Eepublic." 

During the dark and trying days of the Eebellion, well did she 
remember this sacred trust, to protect which two hundred thousand 



of her sons went to the bloody field of battle, crowning their arms 
with the laurels of war, and keeping inviolate the solemn obliga- 
tions bequeathed to them by their fathers. 


In Jnly and August of 1818 a convention was held at Kaskaskia 
for the purpose of drafting a constitution. This constitution was 
not submitted to a vote of the people for their approval or rejection, 
it being well known that they would approve it. It was about the 
first organic law of any State in the Union to abolish imprisonment 
for debt. The first election under the constitution was held on the 
third Thursday and the two succeeding days in September, 1818. 
Shadrach Bond was elected Governor, and Pierre Menard Lieuten- 
ant Governor. Their term of office extended four years. At this 
time che State was divided into fifteen counties, the population being 
about 40,000. Of this number by far the larger portion were from 
the Southern States. The salary of the Governor was $1,000, while 
that of the Treasurer was $500. The Legislature re-enacted, ver- 
batim, the Territorial Code, the penalties of which were unneces- 
sarily severe. Whipping, stocks and pillory were used for minor 
offenses, and for arson, rape, horse-stealing, etc., death by hanging 
was the penalty. These laws, however, were modified in 1821. 

The Legislature first convened at Kaskaskia, the ancient seat of 
empire for more than one hundred and fifty years, both for the 
French and Americans. Provisions were made, however, for the 
removal of the seat of government by this Legislature. A place in the 
wilderness on the Kaskaskia river was selected and named Vandalia. 
From Vandalia it was removed to Springfield in the year 1837. 


The name of this beautiful "Prairie State" is derived from 
lllini, an Indian word signifying superior men. It has a French 
termination, and is a symbol of the manner in which the two races, 
the French and Indians, were intermixed during the early history 
of the country. The appellation was no doubt well applied to the 
primitive inhabitants of the soil, whose prowess in savage warfare 
long withstood the combined attacks of the fierce Iroquois on the 
one side, and the no less savage and relentless Sacs and Foxes on the 
other. The Illinois were once a powerful confederacy, occupying 
the most beautiful and fertile region in the great valley of the 




Mississippi, which their e&emies coveted and struggled long and 
hard to wrest from them. By the fortunes of war they were dimin- 
ished in number and finally destroyed. " Starved Kock," on the 
Illinois river, according to tradition, commemorates their last trag- 
edy, where, it is said, the entire tribe starved rather than surrender. 

The low cognomen of " Sucker," as applied to Illinoisans, is said 
to have had its origin at the Galena lead mines. In an early day, 
when these extensive mines were being worked, men would run up 
the Mississippi river in steamboats in the spring, work the lead 
mines, and in the fall return, thus establishing, as was supposed, asim- 
ilitude between their migratory habits and those of the fishy tribe 
called "Suckers." For this reason the Illinoisans have ever since 
been distinguished by the epithet " Suckers." Those who stayed 
at the mines over winter were mostly from Wisconsin, and were 
called " Badgers." One spring the Missourians poured into the 
mines in such numbers that the State was said to have taken a puke, 
and the offensive appellation of " Pukes " was afterward applied to 
all Missourians. 

The southern part of the State, known as " Egypt," received this 
appellation because, being older, better settled and cultivated, grain 
was had in greater abundance than in the central and northern por- 
tion, and the immigrants of this region, after the manner of the 
children of Israel, went " thither to buy and to bring from thence 
that they might live and not die." 


The Legislature, during the latter years of territorial existence, 
granted charters to several banks. The result was that paper money 
became very abundant, times flush, and credit unlimited; and every- 
body invested to the utmost limit of his credit, with confident 
expectation of realizing a handsome advance before the expiration 
of his credit, from the throng of immigrants then pouring into the 
country. By 1819 it became apparent that a day of reckoning 
would approach before their dreams of fortune could be realized. 
Banks everywhere began to waver, paper money became depreci- 
ated, and gold and silver driven out of the country. The Legisla- 
ture sought to bolster up the times by incorporating the " Bank 
of Illinois," which, with several branches, was created by the ses- 
sion of 1821. This bank, being wholly supported by the credit of 
the State, was to issue one, two, three, five, ten and twenty-dollar 




notes. It was the duty of the bank to advance, upon personal prop- 
erty, money to the amount of $100, and a larger amount upon real 
estate. All taxes and public salaries could be paid in such bills; 
and if a creditor refused to take them, he had to wait three years 
longer before he could collect his debt. The people imagined that 
simply because the government had issued the notes, they would 
remain at par; and although this evidently could not be the case, 
they were yet so infatuated with their project as actually to request 
the United States government to receive them in payment for their 
public lands! Although there were not wanting men -who, like 
John McLean, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, fore- 
saw the dangers and evils likely to arise from the creation of such 
a bank, by far the greater part of the people were in favor of it. 
The new bank was therefore started. The new issue of bills by the 
bank of course only aggravated the evil, heretofore so grievously 
felt, of the absence of specie, so that the people were soon com- 
pelled to cut their bills in halves and quarters, in order to make 
small change in trade. Finally the paper currency so rapidly depre- 
ciated that three dollars in these bills were considered worth only 
one in specie, and the State not only did not increase its revenue, 
but lost full two-thirds of it, and expended three times the amount 
required to pay the expenses of the State government. 

lafayette's visit. 
In the spring of 1825 the brave and generous LaFayette visited 
Illinois, accepting the earnest invitation of the General Assembly, 
and an affectionately written letter of Gov. Cole's, who had formed 
his personal acquaintance in France in 1817. The General in reply 
said: " It has been my eager desire, and it is now my earnest inten- 
tion, to visit the "Western States, and particularly the State of Illi- 
nois. The feelings which your distant welcome could not fail to 
excite have increased that patriotic eagerness to admire on that 
blessed spot the happy and rapid results of republican institutions, 
public and domestic virtues. I shall, after the 22d of February 
(anniversary day), leave here for a journey to the Southern States, 
and from New Orleans to the Western States, so as to return to 
Boston on the 14th of June, when the corner-stone of the Bunker 
Hill monument is to be laid, — a ceremony sacred to the whole Union 
and in which I have been engaged to act a peculiar and honorable 




General LaFayette and suite, attended by a large delegation of 
prominent citizens of Missouri, made a visit by the steamer Natch- 
ez to the ancient town of Kaskaskia. No military parade was 
attempted, but a multitude of patriotic citizens made him welcome. 
A reception was held, Gov. Cole delivering a glowing address of 
welcome. During the progress of a grand ball held that night, a 
very interesting interview took place between the honored General 
and an Indian squaw whose father had served under him in the 
Revolutionary war. The squaw, learning that the great white chief 
was to be- at Kaskaskia on that night, had ridden all day, from early 
dawn till sometime in the night, from her distant home, to see 
the man whose name had been so often on her father's tongue, and 
with which she was so familiar. In identification of her claim to 
his distinguished acquaintance, she brought with her an old, worn 
letter which the General had written to her father, and which the 
Indian chief had preserved with great care, and finally bequeathed 
on his death-bed to his daughter as the most precious legacy he had 
to leave her. 

By 12 o'clock at night Gen. LaFayette returned to his boat and 
started South. The boat was chartered by the State. 


In the year 1822 the term of office of the first Governor, Shadrach 
Bond, expired. Two parties sprung up at this time, — one favorable, 
the other hostile, to the introduction of slavery, each proposing a 
candidate of its own for Governor. Both parties worked hard" to 
secure the election of their respective candidates; but the people at 
large decided, as they ever have been at heart, in favor of a free 
State. Edward Coles, an anti-slavery man, was elected, although a 
majority of the Legislature were opposed to him. The subject of 
principal interest during his administration was to make Illinois a 
slave State. The greatest effort was made in 1824, and the propo- 
sition was defeated at the polls by a majority of 1,800. The aggre- 
gate vote polled was 11,612, being about 6,000 larger than at the 
previous State election. African slaves were first introduced into 
Illinois in 1720 by Eenault, a Frenchman. 

Senator Duncan, afterward Governor, presented to the Legisla- 
ture of 1824-5 a bill for the support of schools by a public tax; and 
William S. Hamilton presented another bill requiring a tax to be 


N 8 — - - — » £ 

G\ | 


used for the purpose of constructing and repairing the roads, — both 
of which bills passed and became laws. But although these laws 
conferred an incalculable benefit upon the public, the very name of 
a tax was so odious to the people that, rather than pay a tax of the 
smallest possible amount, they preferred working as they formerly 
did, five days during the year on the roads, and would allow their 
children to grow up without any instruction at all. Consequently 
both laws were abolished in 1826. 

In the year 1826 the office of Governor became again vacant. 
Ninian Edwards, Adolphus F. Hubbard and Thomas C. Sloe were 
candidates. Edwards, though the successful candidate, had made 
himself many enemies by urging strict inquiries to be made into 
the corruption of the State bank, so that had it not been for his 
talents and noble personal appearance, he would most probably not 
have been elected. Hubbard was a man of but little personal merit. 
Of him tradition has preserved, among other curious sayings, a 
speech on a bill granting a bounty on wolf-scalps. This speech, 
delivered before the Legislature, is as follows: " Mr. Speaker, I rise 
before the question is put on this bill, to say a word for mj' constit- 
uents. Mr. Speaker, I have never seen a wolf. I cannot say that 
I am very well acquainted with the nature and habits of wolves. 
Mr. Speaker, I have said that I had never seen a wolf; but now I 
remember that once on a time, as Judge Brown and I were riding 
across the Bonpas prairie, we looked over the prairie about three 
miles, and Judge Brown said, ' Hubbard, look! there goes a wolf; ' 
and I looked, and I looked, and I looked, and I said, - Judge, where?' 
and he said, 'There!' And I looked again, and this time in the 
edge of a hazel thicket, about three miles across the prairie, I think 
I saw the wolf's tail. Mr. Speaker, if I did not see a wolf that 
time, I think I never saw one; but I have heard much, and read 
more, about this animal. I have studied his natural history. 

"By the bye, history is divided into two parts. There is first 
the history of the fabulous; and secondly, of the non-fabulous, or 
unknown age. Mr. Speaker, from all these sources of information 
I learn that the wolf is a very noxious animal ; that he goes prowl- 
ing about, seeking something to devour; that he rises up in the 
dead and secret hours of night, when all nature reposes in silent 
oblivion, and then commits the most terrible devastation upon the 
rising generation of hogs and sheep. 

*7 7=^ -— »{v ' 

82 nrsTORV of Illinois. 

" Mr. Speaker, I have done; and I return my thanks to the house 
for their kind attention to my remarks." 

Gov. Edwards was a large and well-made man, with a noble, 
princely appearance. Of him Gov. Ford says: "He never con- 
descended to the common low art of electioneering. Whenever he 
went out among the people he arrayed himself in the style of a 
gentleman of the olden time, dressed in fine broadcloth, with short 
breeches, long stockings, and high, fair-topped boots; was drawn in 
a fine carriage driven by a negro; and for success he relied upon his 
speeches, which were delivered in great pomp and in style of diffuse 
and florid eloquence. When he was inaugurated in 1826, he 
appeared before the General Assembly wearing a golden-laced cloak, 
and with greatpomp pronounced his first message to the houses 
of the Legislature." 


Demagogism had an early development. One John Grammar, 
who was elected to the Territorial Legislature in 1816, and held the 
position for about twenty years, invented the policy of opposing 
every new thing, saying, " If it succeeds, no one will ask who 
voted against it: if it proves a failure, he could quote its record." 
When first honored with a seat in the Assembly, it is said that 
he lacked the apparel necessary for a member of the Legislature, 
and in order to procure them he and his sons gathered a large 
quantity of hazel-nuts, which were taken to the Ohio Saline and 
6old for cloth to make a coat and pantaloons. The cloth was the 
blue strouding commonly used by the Indians. 

The neighboring women assembled- to make up the garments; the 
cloth was measured every way, — across, lengthwise, and from corner 
to corner, — and still was found to be scant. It was at last con- 
cluded to make a very short, bob-tailed coat and a long pair of leg- 
gins, which being finished, Mr. Grammar started for the State 
capital. In sharp contrast with Grammar was the character of D. 
P. Cook, in honor of whom Cook county was named. Such was 
his transparent integrity and remarkable ability that his will was 
almost the law of the State. In Congress, a young man and from 
a poor State, he was made Chairman of the Ways and Means Com- 
mittee. He was pre-eminent for standing by his committee, regard- 
less of consequences. T> was his integrity that elected John Quincy 



Adams to the Presidency. There were four candidates in 1824, 
Jackson, Clay, Crawford and Adams. There being no choice by 
the people, the election was thrown into the House. It was so bal- 
anced that it turned on his vote, and that he cast for Adams, elect- 
ing him. He then came home to face the wrath of the Jackson 
party in Illinois. 

The first mail route in the State was established in 1805. This 
was from Vincennes to Cahokia. In 1824 there was a direct mail 
route from Vandalia to Springfield. The first route from the central 
part of the State to Chicago was established in 1832, from Shelby- 
ville. The difficulties and dangers encountered by the early mail 
carriers, in time of Indian troubles, were very serious. The bravery 
and ingenious devices of Harry Milton are mentioned with special 
commendation. When a boy, in 1812, he conveyed the mail on a 
wild French pony from Shawneetown to St. Louis, over swollen 
streams and through the enemy's country. So infrequent and 
irregular were the communications by mail a great part of the time, 
that to-day, even the remotest part of the United States is unable to 
appreciate it by example. 

The first newspaper published in Illinois was the Illinois Herald, 
established at Kaskaskia by Mathew Duncan. There is some va- 
riance as to the exact time of its establishment. Gov. Reynolds 
claimed it was started in 1809. Wm. H. Brown, afterwards its 
editor, gives the date as 1814. 

In 1831 the criminal code was first adapted to penitentiary pun- 
ishment, ever since which time the old system of whipping and 
pillory for the punishment of criminals has been disused. 

There was no legal rate of interest till 1830. Previously the rate 
often reached as high as 150 per cent., but was usually 50 per cent. 
Then it was reduced to 12, then to 10, and lastly to 8 per cent. 



The Indians, who for 6ome years were on peaceful terms with 
the whites, became troublesome in 1827. The "Winnebagoes, Sacs 
and Foxes and other tribes had been at war for more than a hun- 
dred years. In the summer of 1827 a war party of the "Winnebagoes 
surprised a party of Chippewas and killed eight of them. Four 

- — *K » 



of the murderers were arrested and delivered to the Chippewas, 
by whom they were immediately shot. This was the first irritation 
of the Winnebagoes. Red Bird, a chief of this tribe, in order to 
avenge the execution of the four warriors of his own people, attacked 
the Chippewas, but was defeated; and being determined to satisfy 
his thirst for revenge by some means, surprised and killed several 
white men. Upon receiving intelligence of these murders, the 
whites who were working the lead mines in the vicinity of Galena 
formed a body of volunteers, and, re-inforced by a company of United 
States troops, marched into the country of the Winnebagoes. To 
save their nation from the miseries of war, Red Bird and six other 
men of his nation voluntarily surrendered themselves. Some of 
the number were executed, some of them imprisoned and destined, 
like Red Bird, ingloriously to pine away within the narrow confines 
of a jail, when formerly the vast forests had proven too limited for 


In August, 1830, another gubernatorial election was held. The 
candidates were William Kinney, then Lieutenant Governor, and 
John Reynolds, formerly an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, 
both Jackson Democrats. The opposition brought forward no can- 
didate, as they were in a helpless minority. Reynolds was the 
successful candidate, and under his administration was the famous 


In the year of 1801 a treaty was concluded between the United 
States and the chiefs of the Sac and Fox nations. One old chief of 
the Sacs, however, called Black Hawk, who had fought with great 
bravery in the service of Great Britain during the war of 1812, had 
always taken exceptions to this treaty, pronouncing it void. In 1831 
he established himsel 1 ', with a chosen band of warriors, upon the dis- 
puted territory, ordering the whites to leave the country at once. The 
settlers complaining, Gov. Reynolds dispatched Gen. Gaines, with a 
company of regulars and 1,500 volunteers, to the scene of action. 
Taking the Indians by surprise, the troops burnt their villages and 
forced them to conclude a treaty, by which they ceded all lands east 
of the Mississippi, and agreed to remain on the western side of the 
river. Necessity forced the proud spirit of Black Hawk into 
submission, which made him more than ever determined to be 



avenged upoi: his enemies. Having rallied around him the warlike 
braves of the Sac, and Fox nations, he crossed the Mississippi in the 
spring of 1832. Upon hearing of the invasion, Gov. Keynolds 
hastily collected a body of 1,800 volunteers, placing them under the 
command 01 Brig-Gen. Samuel "Whiteside. 

stillman's run. 

The army marched to the Mississippi, and having reduced to 
ashes the Indian village known as '•' Prophet's Town," proceeded 
for several miles up the river to Dixon, to join the regular forces 
under Gen. Atkinson. They found at Dixon two companies of 
volunteers, who, sighing for glory, were dispatched to reconnoiter 
the enemy. They advanced under command of Maj. Stillman, to a 
creek afterwards called "Stillman's run;" and while encamping 
there saw a party of mounted Indians at the distance of a mile. 
Several of Stillman's party mounted their horses and charged the 
Indians, killing three of them; but, attacked by the main body 
under Black Hawk, they were routed, and by their precipitate 
flight spread such a panic through the camp that the whole company 
ran off to Dixon as fast as their legs could carry them. On their 
arrival it was found that there had been eleven killed. The party 
came straggling into camp all night long, four or five at a time, 
each squad positive that all who were left behind were massacred. 

It is said that a big, tall Kentuckian, with a loud voice, who 
was a colonel of the militia but a private with Stillman, upon his 
arrival in camp gave to Gen. Whiteside and the wondering multi- 
tude the follovi/ing glowing and bombastic account of the battle: 
" Sirs," said he, "our detachment was encamped among some scat- 
tering timber on the north side of Old Man's creek, with the prairie 
from the north gently sloping down to our encampment. It was 
just after twilight, in the gloaming of the evening, when we dis- 
covered Black Hawk's army coining down upon us in solid column; 
they displayed in the form of a crescent upon the brow of the prai- 
rie, and such accuracy and precision of military movements were 
never witnessed Dy man; they were equal to the best troops of 
Wellington in Spain. *. have said that the Indians came down in 
solid columns, and displayed in the form of a crescent; and what was 
most wonderful, there were large squares of cavalry resting upon 
the points of the curve, which squares were supported again by 



other columns fifteen deep, extending back through the woods and 
over a swamp three-quarters of a mile, which again rested on the 
main body of Black Hawk's army bivouacked upon the banks of the 
Kishwakee. It was a terrible and a glorious sight to see the tawny 
warriors as they rode along our flanks attempting to outflank us, 
with the glittering moonbeams glistening from their polished blades 
and burnished spears. It was a sight well calculated to strike con- 
sternation in the stoutest and boldest heart; and accordingly our 
men soon began to break in small squads, for tall timber. In a 
very little time the rout became general, the Indians were soon 
upon our flanks and threatened the destruction of our entire detach- 
ment. About this time Maj. Stillman, Col. Stephenson, Maj. 
Perkins, Capt. Adams, Mr. Hackelton, and myself, with some 
others, threw ourselves into the rear to rally the fugitives and pro- 
tect the retreat. But in a short time all my companions fell 
bravely fighting hand-to-hand with the savage enemy, and I alone 
was left upon the field of battle. About this time I discovered not 
far to the left a corps of horsemen which seemed to be in tolerable 
order. I immediately deployed to the left, when, leaning down and 
placing my body in a recumbent posture upon the mane of my 
horse so as to bring the heads of the horsemen between my eye 
and the horizon, I discovered by the light of the moon that they 
were gentlemen who did not wear hats, by which token I knew thev 
were no friends of mine. I therefore made a retrogade movement 
and recovered my position, where I remained some time meditating 
what further I could do in the service of my country, when a ran- 
dom ball came whistling by my ear and plainly whispered to me, 
' Stranger, you have no further business here.' Upon hearing this I 
followed the example of my companions in arras, and broke for 
tall timber, and the way I ran was not a little." 

For a long time afterward Maj. Stillnan and his men were sub- 
jects of ridicule and merriment, which was as undeserving as their 
expedition was disastrous. Stillman's defeat spread consternation 
throughout the State and nation. The number of Indians was 
greatly exaggerated, and the name of Black Hawk carried with it 
associations of great military talent, savage cunning and cruelty. 


A regiment 6ent to spy out the country between Galena and Rock 
Island was surprised by a party of seventy Indians, and was on the 



point of being thrown into disorder when Gen. Whiteside, then 
serving as a private, shouted out that he would shoot the first man 
who should turn his back to the enemy. Order being restored, the 
battle began. At its very outset Gen. Whiteside shot the leader of 
the Indians, who thereupon commenced a hasty retreat. 

In June, 1832, Black Hawk, with a band of 150 warriors, attack- 
ed the Apple Kiver Fort, near Galena, defended by 25 men. This 
fort, a mere palisade of logs, was erected to afford protection to the 
miners. For fifteen consecutive hours the garrison had to sustain 
the assault of the savage enemy ; but knowing very well that no 
quarter would be given them, they fought with such fury and des- 
peration that the Indians, after losing many of their best warriors, 
were compelled to retreat. 

Another party of eleven Indians murdered two men near Fort 
Hamilton. They were afterwards overtaken by a company of 
twenty men and every one of them was killed. 


A new regiment, under the command of Gen. Atkinson, assem- 
bled on the banks of the Illinois in the latter part of June. Haj. 
Dement, with a small party, was sent out to reconnoittr the move- 
ments of a large body of Indians, whose endeavors to surround him 
made it advisable for him to retire. Upon hearing of this engage- 
ment, Gen. Atkinson sent a detachment to intercept the Indians, 
while he with the main body of his army, moved north to meet the 
Indians under Black Hawk. They moved siowiy and cautiously 
through the country, passed through Turtle village, and marched 
up along Kock river. On their arrival news was brought of the 
discovery of the main trail of the Indians. Considerable search 
was made, but they were unable to discover any vestige of Indians 
save two who had shot two soldiers the day previous. 

Hearing that Black Hawk was encamped on Rock river, at the 
Manitou village, they resolved at once to advance upon the enemy; 
but in the execution of their design they met with opposition from 
their officers and men. The officers of Gen. Henry handed to him 
a written protest; but he, a man equal to any emergency, ordered 
the officers to be arrested and escorted to Gen. Atkinson. Within 
a few minutes after the stern order was given, the officers all collected 
around the General's quarters, many of them with tears in their 

■ 0) <— 


9 \ ' 



eyes, pledging themselves that if forgiven they would return to duty 
and never do the like again. The General rescinded the order, and 
they at once resumed duty. 


Gen. Henry marched on the 15th of July in pursuit of the 
Indians, reaching Kock river after three days' journey, where he 
learned Black Hawk was encamped further up the river. On July 
19th the troops were ordered to commence their march. After 
having made fifty miles, they were overtaken by a terrible thunder- 
storm which lasted all night. Nothing cooled, however, in their 
courage and zeal, they marched again fifty miles the next day, 
encamping near the place where the Indians had encamped the 
night before. Hurrying along as fast as they could, the infantry 
keeping up an equal pace with the mounted force, the troops on the 
morning of the _?lst crossed the river connecting two of the four 
lakes, by which the Indians had been endeavoring to escape. They 
found, on their way, the ground strewn with kettles and articles of 
baggage, which the haste of their retreat had obliged the Indians 
to throw away. The troops, inspired with new ardor, advanced so 
rapidly that at noon they fell in with the rear guard of the Indians. 
Those who closely pursued them were saluted with a sudden 
fire of musketry by a body of Indians who had concealed them- 
selves in the high grass of the prairie. A most desperate charge 
was made upon the Indians, who, unable to resist, retreated 
obliquely, in order to out-flank the volunteers on the right; but the 
latter charged the Indians in their ambush, and expelled them 
from their thickets at the point of the bayonet, and dispersed them. 
Night set in and the battle ended, having cost the Indians 68 of 
their bravest men, while the loss of the Illinoisans amounted to but 
one killed and 8 wounded. 

Soon after this battle Gens. Atkinson and Henry joined their 
forces and pursued the Indians. Gen. Henry struck the main trail, 
left his horses behind, formed an advance guard of eight men, 
and marched forward upon their trail. When these eight men 
came within sight of the river, they were suddenly fired upon and 
five of them killed, the remaining three maintaining their ground 
till Gen. Henry came up. Then the Indians, charged upon with 
the bayonet, fell back upon their main force. The battle now 



became general; the Indians fought with desperate valor, but were 
furiously assailed by the volunteers with their bayonets, cutting 
many of the Indians to pieces and driving the rest into the river. 
Those who escaped from being drowned took refuge on an island. On 
hearing the frequent discharge of musketry, indicating a general 
engagement, Gen. Atkinson abandoned the pursuit of the twenty 
Indians under Black Hawk himself, and hurried to the scene of 
action, where he arrived too late to take part in the battle. He 
immediately forded the river with his troops, the water reaching 
up to their necks, and landed on the island where the Indians had 
secreted themselves. The soldiers rushed upon the Indians, killed 
several "of them, took others prisoner, and chased the rest into 
the river, where they were either drowned or shot before reaching 
the opposite shore. Thus ended the battle, the Indians losing 300 
besides 50 prisoners; the whites but 17 killed and 12 wounded. 


Many painful incidents occurred during this battle. A Sac 
woman, the sister of a warrior of some notoriety, found herself in 
the thickest of the fight, but at length succeeded in reaching the 
river, when, keeping her infant child safe in its blankets by means 
of her teeth, she plunged into the water, seized the tail of a horse 
with her hands whose rider was swimming the stream, and was 
drawn safely across. A young squaw during the battle was stand- 
ing in the grass a short distance from the American line, holding 
her child — a little girl of four years — in her arms. In this posi- 
tion a ball struck the right arm of the child, shattering the bone, 
and passed into the breast of the young mother, instantly killing 
her. She fell upon the child and confined it to the ground till the 
Indians were 'driven from that part of the field. Gen. Anderson, 
of the United States army, hearing its cries, went to the spot, took 
it from under the dead body and carried it to the surgeon to have 
its wound dressed. The arm was amputated, and during the oper- 
ation the half-starved child did not cry, but sat quietly eating a 
hard piece of biscuit. It was sent to Prairie du Chien, where it 
entirely recovered. 


Black Hawk, with his twenty braves, retreated up the "Wisconsin. 
river. The Winnebagoes, desirous of securing the friendship of 

.«N e — - - — s k- 


the whites, went in pursuit and captured and delivered them to 
Gen. Street, the United States Indian agent. Among the prisoners 
were the son of Black Hawk and the prophet of the tribe. These 
with Black Hawk were taken to Washington, D. C, and soon con- 
signed as prisoners at Fortress Monroe. 

At the interview Black Hawk had with the President, he closed 
his speech delivered on the occasion in the following words: " We 
did not expect to conquer the whites. They have too many houses, 
too many men. I took up the hatchet, for my part, to revenge 
injuries which my people could no longer endure. Had I borne 
them longer without striking, my people would have said, ' Black 
Hawk is a woman; he is too old to be a chief; lie is no Sac' These 
reflections caused me to raise the war-whoop. I say no more. It 
is known to you. Keokuk once was here; you took him by the 
hand, and when he wished to return to his home, you were willing. 
Black Hawk expects, like Keokuk, he shall be permitted to return 


Black Hawk, or Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiah, was born in the prin- 
cipal Sac village, near the junction of Kock river with the Missis- 
sippi, in the year 1767. His father's name was Py-e-sa. Black 
Hawk early distinguished himself as a warrior, and at the age of 
fifteen was permitted to paint, and was ranked among the braves. 
About the year 17S3 he went on an expedition against the enemies 
of his nation, the Osages, one of whom he killed and scalped; and 
for this deed of Indian bravery he was permitted to join in the 
scalp dance. Three or four years afterward he, at the head of two 
hundred braves, went on another expedition against the Osages, to 
avenge the murder of some women and children belonging to his 
own tribe. Meeting an equal number of Osage warriors, a fierce 
battle ensued in which the latter tribe lost one-half their number. 
The Sacs lost only about nineteen warriors. He next attacked the 
Cherokees for a similar cause. In a severe battle with them near 
the present city of St. Louis his father was slain, and Black Hawk, 
taking possession of the " Medicine Bag," at once announced him- 
self chief of the Sac nation. He had now conquered the Cherokees, 
and about the year 1800, at the head of five hundred Sacs and 
Foxes and a hundred Iowas, he waged war against the Osage 




nation, and subdued it. For two years lie battled successfully with 
other Indian tribes, all of which he conquered. 

The year following the treaty at St. Louis, in 1804, the United 
States Government erected a fort near the head of Des Moines 
Rapids, called Fort Edwards. This seemed to enrage Black Hawk, 
who at once determined to capture Fort Madison, standing on the 
west side of the Mississippi, above the mouth of the Des Moines. 
The fort was garrisoned by about fifty men. Here he was defeated. 
The difficulties with the British Government arose about this time, 
and the war of 1812 followed. That government, extending aid to 
the Western Indians, induced them to remain hostile to the Ameri- 
cans. In August, 1812, Black Hawk, at the head of about five 
hundred braves, started to join the British forces at Detroit, passing 
on his way the site of Chicago, where the famous Fort Dearborn 
massacre -had a few days before been perpetrated. Of his con- 
nection with the British but little is known. 

In the early part of 1815, the Indians west of the Mississippi 
were notified that peace had been declared between the United 
States and England, and nearly all hostilities had ceased. Black 
Hawk did not sign any treaty, however, until May of the following 
year. From the time of signing this treaty, in 1816, until the 
breaking out of the Black Hawk war, lie and his band passed their 
time in the common pursuits of Indian life. 

Ten years before the commencement of this war, the Sac and 
Fox Indians were urged to move to the west of the Mississippi. 
All were agreed, save the band known as the British Band, of which 
Black Hawk was leader. He strongly objected to the removal, and 
was induced to comply only after being threatened by the Govern- 
ment. This action, and various others on the part of the white 
settlers, provoked Black Hawk and his band to attempt the capture 
of his native village, now occupied by the whites. The war fol- 
lowed. He and his actions were undoubtedly misunderstood, and 
had his wishes been complied with at the beginning of the struggle, 
much bloodshed would have been prevented. 


By order of the President, Black Hawk and his companions, 
who were in confinement at Fortress Monroe, were set free on the 
4th day of June, 1833. Before leaving the fort Black Hawk 



made the following farewell speech to the commander, which is not 
only eloquent bu.t shows that within his chest of steel there beat a 
heart keenly alive to the emotions of gratitude: 

" Brother, I have come on my own part, and in behalf of my 
companions, to bid you farewell. Our great father has at length 
been pleased to permit us to return to our hunting grounds. We 
have buried the tomahawk, and the sound of the rifle hereafter will 
only bring death to the deer and the buffalo. Brothers, you have 
treated the red man very kindly. Your squaws have made them 
presents, and you have given them plenty to eat and drink. The 
memory of your friendship will remain till the Great Spirit says it 
is time for Black Hawk to sing his death song. Brother, your 
houses are as numerous as the leaves on the trees, and your young 
warriors like the sands upon the shore of the big lake that rolls 
before us. The red man has but few houses and few warriors, but 
the red man has a heart which throbs as warmly as the heart of his 
white brother. The Great Spirit has given us our hunting grounds, 
and the skin of the deer which we kill there is his favorite, for its 
color is white, and this is the emblem of peace. This hunting 
dress and these feathers of the eagle are white. Accept them, my 
brother. I have given one like this to the White Otter. Accept it as 
a memorial of Black Hawk. When he is far away this will serve 
to remind you of him. May the Great Spirit bless you and your 
children. Farewell." 

After their release from prison they were conducted, in charge 
of Major Garland, through some of the principal cities, that 
thev mio-ht witness the power of the United States and learn 
their own inability to cope with them in war. Great multitudes 
flocked to see them wherever they were taken, and the attention 
paid them rendered their progress through the country a triumphal 
procession, instead of the transportation of prisoners by an officer. 
At Bock Island the prisoners were giveu their liberty, amid great 
and impressive ceremony. In 1838 Black Hawk built him a 
dwelling near Des Moines, Iowa, and furnished it after the manner 
of the whites, and engaged in agricultural pursuits and hunting and 
fishing. Here, with his wife, to whom he was greatly attached, he 
passed the few remaining days of his life. To his credit, it may be 
said that Black Hawk remained true to his wife, and served her 

_1 © 

I ^ -^ » >>, 


with a devotion uncommon among Indians, living with her up- 
ward of forty years. 


At all times when Black Hawk visited the whites he was 
received with marked attention. He was an honored guest at the 
old settlers' re- union in Lee county, Illinois, at some of their 
meetings and received many tokens of esteem. In September, 
1838, while on his way to Rock Island to receive his annuity from 
the Government, he contracted a severe cold which resulted in a 
fatal attack of bilious fever, and terminated his life October 3. 
After his death, he was dressed in the uniform presented to him by 
the President while in Washington. He was buried in a grave six 
feet in depth, situated upon a beautiful eminence. The body was 
placed in the middle of the grave, in a sitting posture upon a seat 
constructed for the purpose. On his left side the cane given him 
by Henry Clay was placed upright, with his right hand resting 
upon it. Thus, after a long, adventurous and shifting life, Black 
Hawk was gathered to his fathers. 

FKOM 1834 TO 1842. 


Ko sooner was the Black Hawk war concluded than settlers 
began rapidly to pour into the northern part of Illinois, now free 
from Indian depredations. Chicago, from a trading post, had 
grown into a commercial center, and was rapidly coming into 

At the general election in 1834 Joseph Duncan was chosen 
Governor, by a handsome majority. His principal opponent was 
ex-Lientenant Governor Kinney. A reckless and uncontrollable 
desire for internal public improvements seized the minds of the 
people. In his message to the Legislature, in 1835, Gov. Duncan 
said : " "When we look abroad and see the extensive lines of inter- 
communication penetrating almost every section of our sister States ; 
when we see the canal boat and the locomotive bearing with seem- 
ing triumph the rich productions of the interior to the rivers, lakes 
and ocean, almost annihilating time, burthen and space, what 
patriot bosom does not beat high with a laudable ambition to give 
Illinois her full share of those advantages which are adorning her 



sister States, and which a magnificent Providence seems to invite 
by a wonderful adaptation of our whole country to such improve- 


The Legislature responded to the ardent words of the Governor, 
and enacted a system of internal improvements without a parallel 
in the grandeur of its conception. They ordered the construction 
of 1,300 miles of railroad, crossing the State in all directions. 
This was surpassed by the river and canal improvements. There 
were a few counties not touched by railroad, or river or canal, and 
they were to be comforted and compensated by the free distribution 
of $200,000 among them. To inflate this balloon beyond credence, it 
was ordered that work should commence on both ends of eacli of these 
railroads and rivers, and at each river-crossing, all at the same time. 
This provision, which has been called the crowning folly of the 
entire system, was the result of those jealous combinations ema- 
nating from the fear that advantages might accrue to one section 
over another in the commencement and completion of the works. 
We can appreciate better, perhaps, the magnitude of this grand 
system by reviewing a few figures. The debt authorized for these 
improvements in the first instance was $10,230,000. But this, as 
it was soon found, was based upon estimates at least too low by 
half. This, as we readily see, committed the State to a liability of 
over $20,000,000, equivalent to $200,000,000, at the present time, 
with over ten times the population and more than ten times the 

Such stupendous undertakings by the State naturally engendered 
the fever of speculation among individuals. That particular form 
known as the town-lot fever assumed the malignant type at first in 
Chicago, from whence it spead over the entire State and adjoining 
States. It was an epidemic. It cut up men's farms without regard 
to locality, and cut up the purses of the purchasers without regard 
to consequences. It was estimated that building lots enough were 
sold in Indiana alone to accommodate every citizen then in the 
United States. 

Chicago, which in 1830 was a small trading-post, had within a 
few years grown into a city. This was the starting point of the 
wonderful and marvelous career of that city. Improvements, 


unsurpassed by individual efforts in the annals of the world, were 
then begun and have been maintained to this day. Though visited 
by the terrible' fire fiend and the accumulations of years swept 
away in a night, yet she has arisen, and to-day is the best built city 
in the world. Reports of the rapid advance of property in Chicago 
spread to the East, and thousands poured into her borders, bringing 
money, enterprise and industry. Every ship that left her port 
carried with it maps of splendidly situated towns and additions, 
and every vessel that returned was laden with immigrants. It was 
said at the time that the staple articles of Illinois export were town 
plots, and that there was danger of crowding the State with towns 
to the exclusion of land for agriculture. 


The Illinois and Michigan canal again received attention. This 
enterprise is one of the most important in the early development 
of Illinois, on account of its magnitude and cost, and forming 
as it does the connecting link between the great chain of lakes and 
the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. Gov. Bond, the first Governor, 
recommended in his first message the building of the canal. In 
1821 the Legislature appropriated $10,000 for surveying the route. 
This work was performed by two young men, who estimated the 
cost at $600,000 or $700,000. It cost, however, when completed, 
$8,000,000. In 1825 a law was passed to incorporate the Canal 
Company, but no stock was sold. In 1826, upon the solicitation of 
Daniel P. Cook, Congressman from this State, Congress gave 
800,000 acres of land on the line of the work. In 1828 commis- 
sioners were appointed, and work commenced with a new survey 
and new estimates. In 1834-5 the work was again pushed forward, 
and continued until 184:8, when it was completed. 


Bonds of the State were recklessly disposed of both in the East 
and in Europe. Work was commenced on various lines of railroad, 
but none were ever completed. On the Northern Cross Eailroad, 
from Meredosia east eight miles, the first locomotive that ever 
turned a wheel in the great valley of the Mississippi, was run. 
The date of this remarkable event was Nov. 8, 1838. Large sums 
of money were being expended with no assurance of a revenue, 

■ \ 

■ <U 


and consequently, in 1840, the Legislature repealed the improve- 
ment laws passed three years previously, not, however, until the 
State had accumulated a debt of nearly $15,000,000. Thus fell, 
after a short but eventful life, by the hands of its creator, the most 
stupendous, extravagant and almost ruinous folly of a grand sys- 
tem of internal improvements that any civil community, perhaps, 
ever engaged in. The State banks failed, specie was scarce, an 
enormous debt was accumulated, the interest of which could not 
be paid, people were disappointed in the accumulation of wealth, 
and real estate was worthless. All this had a tendency to create a 
desire to throw off the heavy burden of State debt by repudiation. 
This was boldly advocated by some leading men. The fair fame 
and name, however, of the State was not tarnished by repudiation. 
Men, true, honest, and able, were placed at the head of affairs; and 
though the hours were dark and gloomy, and the times most try- 
ing, yet our grand old State was brought through and prospered, 
until to-day, after the expenditure of millions for public improve- 
ments and for carrying on the late war, she has, at present, a debt 
of only about $300,000. 


The year 1837 is memorable for the death of the first martyr for 
liberty, and the abolishment of American slavery, in the State. 
Elijah P. Lovejoy was shot by a mob in Alton, on the night of the 
7th of November of that year. lie was at the time editor of the 
Alton Observer, and advocated anti-slavery principles in its 
columns. For this practice three of his presses had been destroyed. 
On the arrival of the fourth the tragedy occurred which cost him 
his life. In anticipation of its arrival a series of meetings were 
held in which the friends of freedom and of slavery were represented. 
The object was to effect a compromise, but it was one in which 
liberty was to make concessions to oppression. In a speech made 
at one of these meetings, Lovejoy said: "Mr. Chairman, what 
have I to compromise? If freely to forgive those who have so greatly 
injured me; if to pray for their temporal and eternal happiness; if 
still to wish for the prosperity of your city and State, notwith- 
standing the indignities I have suffered in them,— if this be the 
compromise intended, then do I willingly make it. I do not admit 
that it is the business of any body of men to say whetlier I shall 





or shall not publish a paper in this city. That right was given to 
me by my Creator, and is solemnly guaranteed by the Constitution 
of the United States and of this State. But if by compromise is 
meant that I shall cease from that which duty requires of me,. I 
cannot make it, and the reason is, that I fear God more than man. 
It is also a very different question, whether 1 shall, voluntarily or 
at the request of my friends, yield up my position, or whether 
I shall forsake it at the hands of a mob. The former I am ready at 
all times to do when circumstances require it, as I will never put 
my personal wishes or interests in competition with the cause of 
that Master whose minister I am. But the latter, be assured I 
never will do. You have, as lawyers say, made a false issue. There 
are no two parties between whom there can be a compromise. I 
plant myself down on my unquestionable rights, and the ques- 
tion to be decided is, whether I shall be protected in those rights. 
You may hang me, as the mob hung the individuals at Vieksburg; 
you may burn me at the stake, as they did old Mcintosh at St. 
Louis; or, you may tar and feather me, or throw me into the Mis- 
sissippi as you have threatened to do; but you cannot disgrace me. 
I, and I alone, can disgrace myself, and the deepest of all disgrace 
would be at a time like this to deny my Maker by forsaking his 
cause. He died for me, and I were most unworthy to bear his 
name should I refuse, if need be, to die for him.'''' Not long 
afterward Mr. Lovejoy was shot. His brother Owen, being pres- 
ent on the occasion, kneeled down on the spot beside the corpse, 
and sent up to God, in the hearing of that very mob, one of the 
most eloquent prayers ever listened to by mortal ear. He was bold 
enough to pray to God to take signal vengeance on the infernal 
institution of slavery, and he then and there dedicated his life to 
the work of overthrowing it, and hoped to see the day when slavery 
existed no more in this nation. He died, March 24, 1864, nearly 
three months after the Emancipation Proclamation of President 
Lincoln took effect. Thus he lived to see his most earnest and 
devout prayer answered. But few men in the nation rendered bet- 
ter service in overthrowing the institution of slavery than Elijah 
P. and Owen Lovejoy. 


Thomas Carlin, Democrat, was elected Governor in 1838, over 
Cyrus Edwards, Whig. In 1842 Adam W. Snyder was nominated 




for Governor on the Democratic ticket, but died before election. 
Thomas Ford was placed in nomination, and was elected, ex-Gov- 
ernor Duncan being his opponent. 


The northern part of the State also had its mob experiences, but 
of an entirely different nature from the one just recounted. There 
has always hovered around the frontier of civilization bold, desper- 
ate men, who prey upon the unprotected settlers rather than gain 
a livelihood by honest toil. Theft, robbery and murder were car- 
ried on by regularly organized bands in Ogle, Lee, Winnebago and 
DeKalb counties. The leaders of these gangs of cut-throats were 
among the first settlers of that portion of the State, and conse- 
quently had the choice of location. Among the most prominent of 
the leaders were John Driscoll, "William and David, his sons; John 
Brodie and three of his sons; Samuel Aikens and three of his sons; 
William K. Bridge and Norton B. Boyce. 

These were the representative characters, those who planned 
and controlled the movements of the combination, concealed them 
when danger threatened, nursed them when sick, rested them when 
worn by fatigue and forced marches, furnished hiding places for 
their stolen booty, shared in the spoils, and, under cover of darkness 
and intricate and devious ways of travel, known only to themselves 
and subordinates, transferred stolen horses from station to station; 
for it came to be known as a well-established fact that they had 
stations, and agents, and watchmen scattered throughout the coun- 
try at convenient distances, and signals and pass-words to assist 
and govern them in all their nefarious transactions. 

Ogle county, particularly, seemed to be a favorite and chosen 
field for the operations of these outlaws, who could not be convicted 
for their crimes. By getting some of their number on the juries, 
by producing hosts of witnesses to sustain their defense by per- 
jured evidence, and by changing the venue from one county to 
another, and by continuances from term to term, they nearly always 
managed to be acquitted. At last these depredations became 'too 
common for longer endurance; patience ceased to be a virtue, and 
determined desperation seized the minds of honest men, and they 
resolved that if there were no statute laws that could protect them 



■ya. .- 



against the ravages of thieves, robbers and counterfeiters, they 
would protect themselves. It was a desperate resolve, and desper- 
ately and bloodily executed. 


At the Spring term of court, 1841, seven of the " Pirates of the 
Prairie," as they were called, were confined in the Ogle county jail 
to await trial. Preparatory to holding court, the judge and lawyers 
assembled at Oregon in their new court-house, which had just 
been completed. Near it stood the county jail in which were the 
prisoners. The " Pirates " assembled Sunday night and set the 
court-house on fire, in the hope that as the prisoners would have to 
be removed from the jail, they might, in the hurry and confusion 
of the people in attending to the fire, make their escape. The 
whole population were awakened that dark and stormy night, to 
see their new court edifice enwrapped in flames. Although the 
building was entirely consumed, none of the prisoners escaped. 
Three of them were tried, convicted and sent to the penitentiary 
for a year. They had, however, contrived to get one of their num- 
ber on the jury, who would not agree to a verdict until threatened 
to be lynched. The others obtained a change of venue and were 
not convicted, and finally they all broke jail and escaped. 

Thus it was that the law was inadequate to the protection of the 
people. The best citizens held a meeting and entered iuto a solemn 
compact with each other to rid the country of the desperadoes that 
infested it. They were regularly organized and known as " Regu- 
lators." They resolved to notify all suspected parties to leave the 
country within a given time; if they did not comply, they would 
be severely dealt with. Their first victim was a man named Hurl, 
who was suspected of having stolen his neighbor's horse. He was 
ordered to strip, his hands were tied, when thirty-six lashes of a 
raw-hide were applied to his bare back. The next was a man 
named Daggett, formerly a Baptist preacher. He was sentenced 
to receive five hundred lashes on his bare back. He was stripped, 
and all was ready, when his beautiful daughter rushed into the 
midst of the men, begging for mercy for her father. Her appeals, 
with Daggett's promise to leave the country immediately, secured 
his release. That night, new crimes having been discovered, he 
was taken out and whipped, after which he left the country, never 
again to be heard from. 


— »• 




The friends and comrades of the men who had been whipped 
were fearfully enraged, and swore eternal and bloody vengeance. 
Eighty of them assembled one night soon after, and laid plans to 
visit White Rock and murder every man, woman and child in that 
hamlet. They started on this blood} 7 mission, but were prevailed 
upon by one of their number to disband. Their coming, however, 
had been anticipated, and every man and boy in the town was 
armed to protect himself and his family. 


John Campbell, Captain of the '• Regulators," received a letter 
from William Driscoll, filled with most direful threats, — not only 
threatening Campbell's life, but the life of any one who should 
oppose their murderous, thieving operations. Soon after the re- 
ceipt of this letter, two hundred of the "Regulators" marched to 
Driscoll's and ordered him to leave the county within twenty days, 
but he refused to comply with the order. One Sunday evening, 
just after this, Campbell was shot down in his own door-yard by 
David Driscoll. He fell in the arms of his wife, at which time 
Taylor Driscoll raised his rifle and pointed it toward her, but low- 
ered it without firing. 

News of this terrible crime spread like wild-fire. The very air 
was filled with threats and vengeance, and nothing but the lives of 
the murderous gang would pay the penalty. Old John Driscoll 
was arrested, was told to bid his family good-bye, and then with 
his son went out to his death. The "Regulators," numbering 111, 
formed a large circle, and gave the Driscolls a fair hearing. They 
were found guilty, and the "Regulators" divided iuto two "death 
divisions,"— one, consisting of fifty-six, with rifles dispatched the 
father, the other fifty-five riddled and shattered the body of the 
son with balls from as many guns. The measures thns inaugu- 
rated to free the country from the dominion of outlaws was a last 
desperate resort, and proved effectual. 


In April, 1840, the " Latter-Day Saints," or Mormons, came in 
large numbers to Illinois and purchased a tract of land'on the east 
side of the Mississippi river, about ten miles above Keokuk. Here 
they commenced building the city of Nauvoo. A more picturesque 
or eligible site for a city could not have been selected. 

= SJV H 


The origin, rapid development and prosperity of this religious 
sect are the most remarkable and instructive historical events of 
the present century. That an obscure individual, without money, 
education, or respectability, should persuade hundreds of thousands 
of people to believe him inspired of God, and cause a book, con- 
temptible as a literary production, to be received as a continuation 
of the sacred revelation, appears almost incredible; yet in less than 
half a century, the disciples of this obscure individual have in- 
creased to hundreds of thousands; have founded a State in the dis- 
tant wilderness, and compelled the Government of the United 
States to practically recognize them as an independent people. 


The founder of Mormonism was Joseph Smith, a native of Ver- 
mont, who emigrated while quite young with his father's family to 
western New York. Here his youth was spent in idle, vagabond 
life, roaming the woods, dreaming of buried treasures, and in en- 
deavoring to learn the art of finding them by the twisting of a 
forked stick in his hands, or by looking through enchanted stones. 
Both he and his father became famous as " water wizards," always 
ready to point out the spot where wells might be dug and water 
found. Such was the character of the young profligate when he 
made the acquaintance of Sidney Rigdon, a person of considerable 
talent and information, who had conceived the design of founding 
a new religion. A religious romance, written by Mr. Spaulding, a 
Presbyterian preacher of Ohio, then dead, suggested the idea, and 
finding in Smith the requisite duplicity and cunning to reduce it 
to practice, it was agreed that he should act as prophet; and the 
two devised a story that gold plates had been found buried in the 
earth containing a record inscribed on them in unknown characters, 
which, when deciphered by the power of inspiration, gave the his- 
tory of the ten lost tribes of Israel. 


After their settlement in and about Nauvoo , in Hancock County, 
great depredations were committed by them on the -'Gentiles." 
The Mormons had been received from Missouri with great kind- 
ness by the people of this State, and every possible aid granted 
them. The depredations committed, however, soon made them 


: « ^= £kn- 


odious, when the question of getting rid of them was agitated. In 
the fall of 1841, the Governor of Missouri made a demand on Gov. 
Carlin for the arrest and delivery of Joe Smith as a fugitive from 
justice. An executive warrant issued for that purpose was placed 
in the hands of an agent to be executed, but was returned without 
being complied with. Soon afterward the Governor handed the 
same writ to his agent, who this time succeeded in arresting Joe 
Smith. He was, however, discharged by Judge Douglas, upon the 
grounds that the writ upon which he had been arrested had been 
once returned before it was executed, and was functus officio. In 
1842 Gov. Carlin again issued his writ, Joe Smith was arrested 
again, and again escaped. Thus it will be seen it was impossible 
to reach and punish the leader of this people, who had been driven 
from Missouri because of their stealing, murdering and unjust 
dealing, and came to Illinois but to continue their depredations. 
Emboldened by success, the Mormons became more arrogant and 
overbearing. Many people began to believe that they were about 
to set up a separate government for themselves in defiance of the 
laws of the State. Owners of property stolen in other counties 
made pursuit into Nauvoo, and were fined by the Mormon courts 
for daring to seek their property in the holy city. But that which 
made it more certain than anything else that the Mormons con- 
templated a separate government, was that about this time they 
petitioned Congress to establish a territorial government for them 
in Nauvoo. 


To crown the whole folly of the Mormons, in the Spring of 1844 
Joe Smith announced himself as a candidate for President of the 
United States, and many of his followers were confident he would 
be elected. He next caused himself to be anointed king and 
priest, and to give character to his pretensions, he declared his 
lineage in an unbroken line from Joseph, the son of Jacob, and 
that of his wife from some other important personage of the ancient 
Hebrews. To strengthen his political power he also instituted a 
body of police styled the "Danite band," who were sworn to pro- 
tect his person and obey his orders as the commands of God. A 
female order previously existing in the church, called " Spiritual 
wives," was modified so as to suit the licentiousness of the prophet. 
A doctrine was revealed that it was impossible for a woman to get 

"7 « """ -« 5>\ 

* *v — »- — - — *k. 


to heaven except as the wife of a Mormon elder; that each. elder 
might marry as many women as he could maintain, and that any 
female might be sealed to eternal life by becoming their concubine. 
This licentiousness, the origin of polygamy in that church, they 
endeavored to justify by an appeal to Abraham, Jacob and other 
favorites of God in former ages of the world. 


Smith soon began to play the tyrant over his people. Among 
the first acts of this sort was an attempt to take the wife of Wil- 
liam Law, one of his most talented disciples, and make her his 
spiritual wife. He established, without authority, a recorder's 
office, and an office to issue marriage licenses. He proclaimed that 
none could deal in real estate or sell liquor but himself. He 
ordered a printing office demolished, and in many ways controlled 
the freedom and business of the Mormons. Not only did he stir up 
some of the Mormons, but by his reckless disregard for the laws of 
the land raised up opposition on every hand. It was believed that 
he instructed the Danite band, which he had chosen as the ministers 
of his vengeance, that no blood, except that of the church, was to 
be regarded as sacred, if it contravened the accomplishment of his 
object. It was asserted that he inculcated the legality of perjury 
and other crimes, if committed to advance the cause of true believ- 
ers; that God had given the world and all it contained to his saints, 
and since they were kept out of their rightful inheritance by force, 
it was no moral offense to get possession of it by stealing. It was 
reported that an establishment existed in Nauvoo for the manufac- 
ture of counterfeit money, and that a set of outlaws was maintained 
for the purpose of putting it in circulation. Statements were cir- 
culated to the effect that a reward was offered for the destruction of 
the Warsaw Signal, an anti-Mormon paper, and that Mormons dis- 
persed over the country threatened all persons who offered to assist 
the constable in the execution of the law, with the destruction of 
their property and the murder of their families. There were rumors 
also afloat that an alliance had been formed with the Western 
Indians, and in case of war they would be used in murdering their 
enemies. In short, if only one-half of these reports were true the 
Mormons must have been the most infamous people that ever ex- 




"William Law, one of the proprietors of the printing-press 
destroyed by Smith, went to Carthage, the county-seat, and 
obtained warrants for the arrest of Smith and the members of the 
City Council, and others connected with the destruction of the 
press. Some of the parties having been arrested, but discharged 
by the authorities in Nauvoo, a convention of citizens assembled at 
Carthage and appointed a committee to wait upon the Governor for 
the purpose of procuring military assistance to enforce the law. 
The Governor visited Carthage in person. Previous to his arrival 
the militia had been called out and armed forces commenced assem- 
bling in Carthage and Warsaw to enforce the service of civil process. 
All of them, however, signified a willingness to co-operate with the 
Governor in preserving order. A constable and ten men were then 
sent to make the arrest. In the meantime, Smith declared martial 
law; his followers residing in the country were summoned to his 
assistance; the Legion was assembled and under arms, and the 
entire city was one great military encampment. 


The prophet, his brother Hiram, the members of the City Coun- 
cil and others, surrendered themselves at Carthage June 24, 1845, 
on the charge of riot. All entered into recognizance before a Jus- 
tice of the Peace to appear at court, and were discharged. A new 
writ, however, was immediately issued and served on the two 
Smiths, and both were arrested and thrown into prison. The 
citizens had assembled from Hancock, Schuyler and McDonough 
counties, armed and ready to avenge the outrages that had been 
committed by the Mormons. Great excitement prevailed at Car- 
thage. The force assembled at that place amounted to 1,200 men, 
and about 500 assembled at Warsaw. Nearly all were anxious to 
march into Nauvoo. This measure was supposed to be necessary 
to search for counterfeit money and the apparatus to make it, and 
also to strike a salutary terror into the Mormon people by an exhi- 
bition of the force of the State, and thereby prevent future out- 
rages, murders, robberies, burnings, and the like. The 27th of 
June was appointed for the march; but Gov. Ford, who at the 
time was in Carthage, apprehended trouble if the militia should 
attempt to invade Nauvoo, disbanded the troops, retaining only a 
guard to the jail. 





Gov. Ford went to Nauvoo on the 27th. The same morning 
about 200 men from Warsaw, many being disguised, hastened to 
Carthage. On learning that one of the companies left as a guard 
had disbanded, and the other stationed 150 yards from the jail while 
eight men were left to guard the prisoners, a communication was 
soon established between the "Warsaw troops and the guard; and it 
was arranged that the guard should have their guns charged with 
blank cartridges and fire at the assailants when they attempted to 
enter the jail. The conspirators came up, jumped the fence around 
the jail, were fired upon by the guard, which, according to arrange- 
ment, was overpowered, and the assailants entered the prison, to 
the door of the room where the two prisoners were confined. An 
attempt >as made to break open the door; but Joe Smith, being 
armed with a pistol, fired several times as the door was bursted 
open, and three of the assailants were wounded. At the same time 
several shots were fired into the room, by some of which John 
Taylor, a friend of the Smiths, received four wounds, and Hiram 
Smith was instantly killed. Joe Smith, severely wounded, attempt- 
ed to escape by jumping out of a second-story window, but was so 
stunned by the fall that he was unable to rise. In this position he 
was dispatched by balls shot through his body. Thus fell Joe 
Smith, the most successful imposter of modern times. Totally ignor- 
ant of almost every fact in science, as well as in law, he made up in 
constructiveness and natural cunning whatever in him was want- 
ing of instruction. 


Great consternation prevailed among the anti-Mormons at 
Carthage, after the killing of the Smiths. They expected the Mor- 
mons would be so enraged on hearing of the death of their leaders 
that they would come down in a body, armed and equipped, to 
seek revenge upon the populace at Carthage. Messengers were 
dispatched to various places for help in case of an attack. The 
women and children were moved across the river for safety. A 
committee was sent to Quincy and early the following morning, 
at the ringing of the bells, a large concourse of people assembled 
to devise means of defense. At this meeting, it was reported that 
the Mormons attempted to rescue the Smiths; that a party of Mis- 
sourians and others had killed them to prevent their escape ; that 



the Governor and his party were at JNauvoo at the time when intel- 
ligence of the fact was brought there; that they had been attacked 
by the Nauvoo Legion, and had retreated to a house where they 
were closely besieged; that the Governor had sent out word that 
he could maintain his position for two days, and would be certain 
to be massacred if assistance did not arrive by that time. It is 
unnecessary to say that this entire story was fabricated. It was 
put in circulation, as were many other stories, by the anti-Mormons, 
to influence the public mind and create a hatred for the Mormons. 
The effect of it, however, was that by 10 o'clock on the 28th, 
between two and three hundred men from Quincy. under command 
of Maj. Flood, went on board a steamboat for Nauvoo, to assist in 
raising the siege, as they honestly believed. 


It was thought by many, and indeed the circumstances seem to war- 
rant the conclusion, that the assassins of Smith had arranged that the 
murder should occur while the Governor was in Nauvoo; that the 
Mormons would naturally suppose he planned it, and in the first out- 
pouring of their indignation put him to death, as a means of retalia- 
tion. They thought that if they could have the Governor of the State 
assassinated by Mormons, the public excitement would be greatly 
increased against that people, and would cause their extermination, 
or at least their expulsion from the State. That it was a brutal and 
premeditated murder cannot be and is not denied at this day; but 
the desired effect of the murder was not attained, as the Mormons 
did not evacuate Nauvoo for two years afterward. In the meantime, 
the excitement and prejudice against this people were not allowed 
to die out. Horse-stealing was quite common, and every case that 
occurred was charged to the Mormons. That they were guilty of 
such thefts cannot be denied, but a great deal of this work done at 
that time was by organized bands of thieves, who knew they could 
carry on their nefarious business with more safety, as long as sus- 
picion could be placed upon the Mormons. In the summer and 
fall of 1845 were several occurrences of a nature to increase the 
irritation existing between the Mormons and their neighbors. A 
6uit was instituted in the United States Circuit Court against one 
of the apostles, to recover a note, and a marshal sent to summons 

~« --" — !»\ 


the defendant, who refused to be served with the process. Indig- 
nation meetings were held by the saints, and the marshal threat- 
ened for attempting to serve the writ. About this time, General 
Denning, sheriff, was assaulted by an anti-Mormon, whom he killed. 
Denning was friendly to the Mormons, and a great outburst of 
passion was occasioned among the friends of the dead man. 


It was also discovered, in trying the rights of property at Lima, 
Adams county, that the Mormons had an institution connected 
with their church to secure their effects from execution. Incensed 
at this and other actions, the anti-Mormons of Lima and Green 
Plains, held a meeting to devise means for the expulsion of the 
Mormons from that part of the country. It was arranged that a 
number of their own party should fire on the building in which 
they were assembled, in such a manner as not to injure anyone, 
and then report that the Mormons had commenced the work of 
plunder and death. This plot was duly executed, and the startling 
intelligence 60on called together a mob, which threatened the Mor- 
mons with fire and sword if they did not immediately leave. The 
Mormons refusing to depart, the mob at once executed their threats 
by burning 125 houses and forcing the inmates to flee for their 
lives. The sheriff of Hancock county, a prominent Mormon 
armed several hundred Mormons and scoured the country, in search 
of the incendiaries, but they had fled to neighboring counties, and 
he was unable either to bring them to battle or make any arrests. 
One man, however, was killed without provocation ; another 
attempting to escape was shot and afterwards hacked and muti- 
lated ; and Franklin A. "Worrell, who had charge of the jail when 
the Smiths were killed, was shot by some unknown person con- 
cealed in a thicket. The anti-Mormons committed one murder. 
A party of them set fire to a pile of straw, near the barn of an old 
Mormon, nearly ninety years of age, and when he appeared to ex- 
tinguish the flames, he was shot and killed. 

The anti-Mormons left their property exposed in their hurried 
retreat, after having burned the houses of the Mormons. Those 
who had been burned out sallied forth from Nauvoo and plundered 
the whole country, taking whatever they could carry or drive 
away. By order of the Governor, Gen. Hardin raised a force of 
350 men, checked the Mormon ravages, and recalled the fugitive 
anti-Mormons home. 





At this time a convention, consisting of delegates from eight of 
the adjoining counties, assembled to concert measures for the expul- 
sion of the Mormons from the State. The Mormons seriously con- 
templated emmigration westward, believing the times forboded 
evil for them. Accordingly, during the -winter of 1845-'46, the 
most stupendous preparations were made by the Mormons for 
removal. All the principal dwellings, and even the temple, were 
converted into work-shops, and before spring, 12,000 wagons were 
in readiness; and by the middle of February the leaders, with 2,000 
of their followers, had crossed the Mississippi on the ice. 

Before the spring of 1846 the majority of the Mormons had left 
Nauvoo, but still a large number remained. 


In September a writ was issued against several prominent Mor- 
mons, and placed in the hands of John Carlin, of Carthage, for 
execution. Carlin called out a posse to help make the arrest, which 
brought together quite a large force in the neighborhood of Nauvoo. 
Carlin, not being a military man, placed in command of the posse, 
first, Gen. Singleton, and afterward Col. Brockman, who proceeded 
to invest the city, erecting breastworks, and taking other means for 
defensive as well as offensive operations. What was then termed a 
battle next took place, resulting in the death of one Mormon and 
the wounding of several others, and loss to the anti-Mormons of 
Jliree killed and four wounded. At last, through the intervention 
of an anti-Mormon committee of one hundred, from Quincy, the 
Mormons and their allies were induced to submit to such terms as 
the posse chose to dictate, which were that the Mormons should 
immediately give up their arms to the Quincy committee, and re- 
move from the State. The trustees of the church and five of their 
clerks were permitted to remain for the sale of Mormon property, 
and the posse were to march in unmolested, and leave a sufficient 
force to guarantee the performance of their stipulations. Accord- 
ingly, the constable's posse marched in with Brockman at their 
head. It consisted of about 800 armed men and 600 or 700 
unarmed, who had assembled from all the country around, through 
motives of curiosity, to see the once proud city of Nauvoo hum- 
bled and delivered up to its enemies. They proceeded into the 

o "V 


c4-yvw^ tfP, &ASLdsruL^ 



city slowly and carefully, examining the way for fear of the explo- 
sion of a mine, many of which had been made by the Mormons, 
by burying kegs of powder in the ground, with a man stationed at 
a distance to pull a string communicating with the trigger of a 
percussion lock affixed to the keg. This kind of a contrivance was 
called by the Mormons " hell's half-acre." When the posse 
arrived in the city, the leaders of it erected themselves into a tri- 
bunal to decide who should be forced away and who remain. 
Parties were dispatched to hunt for fire-arms, and for Mormons, and 
to bring them to judgment. "When brought, they received their 
doom from the mouth of Brockman, who sat a grim and unawed 
tyrant for the time. As a general rule, the Mormons were ordered 
to leave within an hour or two; and by rare grace some of them 
were allowed until next day, and in a few cases longer time was 


Nothing was said in the treaty in regard to th'e new citizens, who 
had with the Mormons defended the city; but the posse no sooner 
had obtained possession than they commenced expelling them. 
Some of them were ducked -in the river, and were in one or two 
instances actually baptized in the name of some of the leaders 
of the mob; others were forcibly driven into the ferry-boats to be 
taken over the river before the bayonets of armed ruffians. Many 
of these new settlers were strangers in the country from various 
parts of the United States, who were attracted there by the low 
price of property; and they knew but little of previous difficulties 
or the merits of the quarrel. They saw with their own eyes that 
the Mormons were industriously preparing to go away, and they 
knew " of their own knowledge " that any effort to expel them by 
force was gratuitous and unnecessary cruelty. They had been trained, 
by the States whence they came, to abhor mobs and to obey the law, 
and they volunteered their services under executive authority to 
defend their town and their property against mob violence, and, as 
they honestly believed, from destruction; but in this they were partly 
mistaken; for although the mob leaders in the exercise of unbridled 
power were guilty of many injuries to the persons of individuals, 
although much personal property was stolen, yet they abstained 
from materially injuring houses and buildings. 






The fugitives proceeded westward, taking the road through Mis- 
souri, but were forcibly ejected from that State and compelled to 
move indirectly through Iowa. After innumerable hardships the 
advance guard reached the Missouri river at Council Bluffs, when 
a United States officer presented a requisition for 500 men to 
serve in the war with Mexico. Compliance with this order 60 di- 
minished their number of effective men, that the expedition was 
again delayed and the remainder, consisting mostly of old men, 
women and children, hastily prepared habitations for winter. 
Their rudely constructed tents were hardly completed before winter 
set in with great severity, the bleak prairies being incessantly swept 
by piercing winds. While here cholera, fever and other diseases, 
aggravated by the previous hardships, the want of comfortable 
quarters and medical treatment, hurried many of them to prema- 
ture graves, yet, under the influence of religious fervor and fanati- 
cism, they looked death in the face with resignation and cheerful- 
ness, and even exhibited a gayety which manifested itself in music 
and dancing during the saddest hours of this sad winter. 

At length welcome spring made its appearance, and by April 
they were again organized for the journey; a pioneer party, con- 
sisting of Brigham Young and 140 others, was sent in advance to 
locate a home for the colonists. On the 21 of July, 1847, a day 
memorable in Mormon annals, the vanguard reached the valley of 
the Great Salt Lake, having been directed thither, according to 
their accounts, by the hand of the Almighty. Here in a distant wil- 
derness, midway between the settlements of the East and the Pacific, 
and at that time a thousand miles from the utmost verge of civili- 
zation, they commenced preparations for founding a colony, which 
has since grown into a mighty empire. 


During the month of May, 1846, the President called for four 
regiments of volunteers from Illinois for the Mexican war. This 
was no sooner known in the State than nine regiments, numbering 
8,370 men, answered the call, though only four of them, amounting 
to 3,720 men, could be taken. These regiments, as well as their 
officers, were everywhere foremost in the American ranks, and dis- 



tinguished themselves by their matchless valor in the bloodiest 
battles of the war. Veterans never fought more nobly and effect- 
ively than did the volunteers from Illinois. At the bloody battle of 
Buena Yista they crowned their lives — many their death — with the 
laurels of war. Never did armies contend more bravely, determinedly 
and stubbornly than the American and Mexican forces at this famous 
battle; and as Illinois troops were ever in the van and on the blood- 
iest portions of the field, we believe a short sketch of the part they 
took in the fierce contest is due them, and will be read with no lit- 
tle interest. 


General Santa Anna, with his army of 20,000, poured into the 
valley of Aqua Nuevaearly on the morning of the 22d of February, 
hoping to surprise our army, consisting of about 5,000 men, under 
Gen. Taylor and which had retreated to the " Narrows." They 
were hotly pursued by the Mexicans who, before attacking, sent 
Gen. Taylor a flag of truce demanding a surrender, and assuring 
him that if he refused he would be cut to pieces; but the demand 
was promptly refused. At this the enemy opened fire, and the con- 
flict began. In honor of the day the watchword with our soldiers 
was, " The memory of Washington." An irregular fire was kept up 
all day, and at night both armies bivouacked on the field, resting on 
their arms. Santa Anna that night made a spirited address to his 
men, and the stirring strains of his own band till late in the night 
were distinctly heard by our troops; but at last silence fell over the 
hosts that were to contend unto death in that narrow pass on the 

Early on the following morning the battle was resumed, and con- 
tinued without intermission until nightfall. The solid columns of 
the enemy were hurled against our forces all day long, but were 
met and held in check by the unerring fire of our musketry and ar- 
tillery. A portion of Gen. Lane's division was driven back by the 
enemy under Gen. Lombardini, who, joined by Gen. Pacheco's divis- 
ion, poured upon the main plateau in so formidable numbers as 
to appear irresistible. 


At this time the 2d Illinois, under Col. Eissell, with a squadron 
of cavalry and a few pieces of artillery came handsomely into action 



and gallantly received the concentrated fire of the enemy, which 
they returned with deliberate aim and terrible effect; every dis- 
charge of the artillery seemed to tear a bloody path through the 
heavy columns of enemy. Says a writer: "The rapid mus- 
ketry of the gallant troops from Illinois poured a storm of lead 
into their serried ranks, which literally strewed the ground with 
the dead and dying." But, notwithstanding his losses, the enemy 
steadily advanced until our gallant regiment received fire from 
three sides. Still they maintained their position for a time with 
unflinching firmness against that immense host. At length, per- 
ceiving the danger of being entirely surrounded, it was determined 
to fall back to a ravine. Col. Bissel, with the coolness of ordinary 
drill, ordered the signal " cease firing " to be made; he then with 
the same deliberation gave the command, " Face to the rear, Bat- 
talion, about face; forward march," which was executed with the 
regularity of veterans to a point beyond the peril of being out- 
flanked. Again, in obedience to command these brave men halted, 
faced about, and under a murderous tempest of bullets from the foe, 
resumed their well-directed fire. The conduct of no troops could 
have been more admirable; and, too, until that day they had never 
been under fire, when, within less than half an hour eighty of their 
comrades dropped by their sides. How different from the Arkansas 
regiment, which were ordered to the plateau, but after delivering 
their first volley gave way and dispersed. 


But now we have to relate the saddest, and, for Illinois, the most 
mournful, event of that battle-worn day. We take the account 
from Colton's History of the battle of Buena Vista. "As the enemy 
on our left was moving in retreat along the head of the Plateau, 
our artillery was advanced until within range, and opened a heavy 
fire upon him, while Cols. Hardin, Bissell and McKee, with their 
Illinois and Kentucky troops, dashed gallantly forward in hot pur- 
suit. A powerful reserve of the Mexican army was then just 
emerging from the ravine, where it had been organized, and 
advanced on the plateau, opposite the head of the southernmost 
gorge. Those who were giving way rallied quickly upon it; when 
the whole force, thus increased to over 12,000 men, came forward 
in a perfect blaze of fire. It was a single column, composed of the 
best soldiers of the republic, having for its advanced battalions the 


veteran regiments. The Kentucky and Illinois troops were soon 
obliged to give ground before it and seek the shelter of the second 
gorge. The enemy pressed on, arriving opposite the head of the 
second gorge. One-half of the column suddenly enveloped it, while 
the other half pressed on across the plateau, having for the moment 
nothing to resist them but the three guns in their front. The por- 
tion that was immediately opposed to the Kentucky and Illinois 
troops, ran down along each side of the gorge, in which they h$d 
sought shelter, and also circled around its head, leaving no possible 
way of escape for them except by its mouth, which opened 
upon the road. Its sides, which were steep, — at least an angle of 
45 degrees, — were covered with loose pebbles and stones, and con- 
verged to a point at the bottom. Down there were our poor fel- 
lows, nearly three regiments of them (1st and 2d Illinois and 2d 
Kentucky), with but little opportunity to load or fire a gun, being 
hardly able to keep their feet. Above the whole edge of the 
gorge, all the way around, was darkened by the serried masses of 
the enemy, and was bristling with muskets directed on the crowd 
beneath. It was no time to pause. Those who were not immedi- 
ately shot down rushed on toward the road, their number growing 
less and less as they went, Kentuckians and Illinoisans, officers aud 
men, all mixed up in confusion, and all pressing on over the loose 
pebbles and rolling stones of those shelving, precipitous banks, 
and having lines and lines of the enemy firing down from each 
side and rear as they went. Just then the enemy's cavalry, which 
had gone to the left of the reserve, had come over the spur that 
divides the mouth of the second gorge from that of the third, and 
were now closing up the only door through which there was the 
least shadow of a chance for their lives. Many of those ahead 
endeavored to force their way out, but few succeeded. The lancers 
were fully six to one, and their long weapons were already reeking 
with blood. It was at this time that those who were still back in 
that dreadful gorge heard, above the din of the musketry and the 
shouts of the enemy around them, the roar of Washington's Bat- 
tery. No music could have been more grateful to their ears. A 
moment only, and the whole opening, where the lancers were busy, 
rang with the repeated explosions of spherical-case shot. They 
gave way. The gate, as it were, was clear, and out upon the road 
a stream of our poor fellows issued. They ran panting down 


^ 9 > 

— — «- , . — Kr-»- 


toward the battery, and directly under the fight of iron then pas- 
sing over their heads, into the retreating cavalry. Hardin, McKee, 
Clay Willis, Zabriskie, Houghton-but why go on? It would be 
a sad task indeed to name over all who fell during this twenty 
minutes' slaughter. The whole gorge, from the plateau to its 
mouth, was strewed with our dead. All dead! No wounded there 
-not a man; for the infantry had rushed down the sides and com- 
pleted the work with the bayonet." 


The artillery on the plateau stubbornly maintained its position, 
The remnants of the 1st and 2d Illinois regiments, after issuing 
from the fated gorge, were formed and again brought into action, 
the former, after the fall of the noble Hardin, under Lieut. Col. 
Weatherford, the latter under Bissell. The enemy brought forth 
reinforcements and a brisk artillery duel was kept up; but gradually, 
as the shades of night began to cover the earth, the rattle of mus- 
ketry slackened, and when the pall of night was thrown over that 
bloody field it ceased altogether. Each army, after the fierce and 
long struggle, occupied much the same position as it did in the 
morning. However, early on the following morning, the glad 
tidings were heralded amidst our army that the enemy had retreated, 
thus again crowning the American banners with victory. 


Other bright names from Illinois that shine as stars in this 
war are those of Shields, Baker, Harris and Coffee, which are 
indissolubly connected with the glorious capture of Vera Cruz 
and the not less famous storming of Cerro Gordo. In this latter 
action, when, after the valiant Gen. Shields had been placed hors 
de combat, the command of his force, consisting of three regiments, 
devoled upon Col. Baker. This officer, with his men, stormed with 
unheard-of prowess the last stronghold of the Mexicans, sweeping 
everything before them. Such indeed were the intrepid valor and 
daring courage exhibited by Illinois volunteers during the Mexican 
war that their deeds should live in the memory of their countrymen 
until those latest times when the very name of America shall have 
been forgotten. 


On the fourth day of March, 1861, after the most exciting and 
momentous political campaign known in the history of this country, 
Abraham Lincoln — America's martyred President— was inaugu- 
rated Chief Magistrate of the United States. This fierce contest 
was principally sectional, and as the announcement was flashed over 
the telegraph wires that the Eepublican Presidential candidate had 
been elected, it was hailed by the South as a justifiable pretext for 
dissolving the Union. Said Jefferson Davis in a speech at Jackson, 
Miss., prior to the election, "If an abolitionist be chosen Presi- 
dent of the United States you will have presented to you the 
question whether you will permit the government to pass into 
the hands of your avowed and implacable enemies. Without 
pausing for an answer, I will state my own position to be that 
such a result would be a species of revolution by which the 
purpose of the Government would be destroyed, and the obser- 
vances of its mere forms entitled to no respect. In that event, 
in such manner as should be most expedient, I should deem it 
your duty to provide for your safety outside of the Union." Said 
another Southern politician, when speaking on the same sub- 
ject, "We shall fire the Southern heart, instruct the Southern 
mind, give courage to each, and at the proper moment, by one 
organized, concerted action, we can precipitate the Cotton States 
into a revolution." To disrupt the Union and form a government 
which recognized the absolute supremacy of the white population 
and the perpetual bondage of the black was what they deemed 
freedom from the galling yoke of a Eepublican administration. 


Hon. Eufus W. Miles, of Illinois, sat on the floor by the side 
of Abraham Lincoln in the Library-room of the Capitol, in Spring- 
field, at the secret caucus meeting, held in January, 1859, when 
Mr. Lincoln's name was first spoken of in caucus as candidate for 
President. When a gentleman, in making a short speech, said, 
" We are going to bring Abraham Lincoln out as a candidate for 
President," Mr. Lincoln at once arose to his feet, and exclaimed, 
"For God's sake, let me alone! I have suffered enough! " This 
was soon after he had been defeated in the Legislature for United 
States Senate by Stephen A. Douglas, and only those who are 




intimate with that important and unparalleled contest can appre- 
ciate the full force and meaning of these expressive words of the 
martyred President. They were spontaneous, and prove beyond a 
shadow of doubt that Abraham Lincoln did not seek the high posi- 
tion of President. Nor did he use any trickery or chicanery to 
obtain it. But his expressed wish was not to be complied with; 
our beloved country needed a savior and a martyr, and Fate had 
decreed that he should be the victim. After Mr. Lincoln was 
elected President, Mr. Miles sent him an eagle's quill, with which 
the Chief Magistrate wrote his first inaugural address. The letter 
written by Mr. Miles to the President, and sent with the quill, 
which was two feet in length, is such a jewel of eloquence and 
prophecy that it should be given a place in history: 

Hon. A. Lincoln : 

Percifer, December 21, I860. 
Dear Sir .-—Please accept the eagle quill I promised you, by the hand of our 
Representative, A. A. Smith. The bird from whose wing Ihe quill was taken was 
shot by John P. Dillon, in Percifer Township, Knox Co., 111., in Feb., 1857. Hav- 
ing heard that James Buchanan was furnished with an eagle quill to write his 
Inaugural with, and believing that in 1860 a Republican would be elected to take 
his place, I determined to save this quill and present it to the fortunate maD, who- 
ever he might be. Reports tell us that the bird which furnished Buchanan's quill 
was a captured bird — fit emblem of the man that used it ; but the bird from 
which this quill was taken yielded the quill only with his life — fit emblem of the 
man who is expected to use it, for true Republicans believe that you would not 
ihink life worth the keeping after Ihe surrender of principle. Great difficulties 
surround you; traitors to their country have threatened your life; and should 
you be called upon to surrender it at the post of duty, your memory will live for- 
ever in the heart of every freeman ; and that is a grander monument than can be 
built of brick or marble. 

" For if hearts may not our memories keep, 
Oblivion haste each vestige sweep, 
And let our memories end." 

Tours Truly, 

R. W. Miles. 

At the time of President Lincoln's accession to power, several 
members of the Union claimed they had withdrawn from it, and 
styling themselves the " Confederate States of America," organ- 
ized a separate government. The house was indeed divided 
against itself, but it should not fall, nor should it long continue 
divided, was the hearty, determined response of every loyal heart 
in the nation. The accursed institution of human slavery was 
the primary cause for this dissolution of the American Union 
Doubtless other agencies served to intensify the hostile feel- 
ings which existed between the Northern and Southern portions 




of our country, but their remote origin could be traced to this great 
national evil. Had Lincoln's predecessor put forth a timely, ener- 
getic effort, he might have prevented the bloody war our nation 
was called to pass through. On the other hand every aid was given 
the rebels; every advantage and all the power of the Government 
was placed at their disposal, and when Illinois' honest son took the 
reins of the Republic he found Buchanan had been a traitor to his 
trust, and given over to the South all available means of war. 


On the 12th day of April, 1861, the rebels, who for weeks had 
been erecting their batteries upon the shore, after demanding of 
Major Anderson a surrender, opened fire upon Fort Sumter. For 
thirty-four hours an incessant cannonading was continued ; the fort 
was being seriously injured; provisions were almost gone, and Major 
Anderson was compelled to haul down the stars and stripes. That 
dear old flag which had seldom been lowered to a foreign foe by 
rebel hands was now trailed in the dust. The first blow of the 
terrible conflict which summoned vast armies into the field, and 
moistened the soil of a nation in fraternal blood and tears, had 
been struck. The gauntlet thus thrown down by the attack on 
Sumter by the traitors of the South was accepted — not, however, 
in the spirit with which insolence meets insolence — but with a firm, 
determined spirit of patriotism and love of country. The duty of 
the President was plain under the constitution and the laws, and 
above and beyond all, the people from whom all political power is 
derived, demanded the suppression of the Rebellion, and stood ready 
to sustain the authority of their representative and executive 
officers. Promptly did the new President issue a proclamation 
calling for his countrymen to join with him to defend their homes 
and their country, and vindicate her honor. This call was made 
April 14, two days after Sumter was first fired upon, and was for 
75,000 men. On the 15th, the same day he was notified, Gov. 
Tates issued his proclamation convening the Legislature. He also 
ordered the organization of six regiments. Troops were in abund- 
ance, and the call was no sooner made than filled. Patriotism 
thrilled and vibrated and pulsated through every heart. The farm, 
the workshop, the office, the pulpit, the bar, the bench, the college, 
the school-house, — every calling offered its best men, their lives and 
their fortunes, in defense of the Government's honor and unity. 



Bitter words spoken in moments of political heat were forgotten 
and forgiven, and joining hands in a common cause, they repeated 
the oath of America's soldier-statesman: "By the Great Eternal, 
the Union must and shall be preserved. " The honor, the very 
life and glory of the nation, was committed to the stern arbitrament 
of the sword, and soon the tramp of armed men,. the clash of 
musketry and the heavy boom of artillery reverberated throughout 
the continent; rivers of blood saddened by tears of mothers, wives, 
sisters, daughters and sweethearts flowed from the lakes to the gulf, 
but a nation was saved. The sacrifice was great, but the Union 
was preserved. 


Simultaneously with the call for troops by the President,, ,enlist-" 
ments commenced in this State, and within ten days 10,000 volun- 
teers offered service, and the sum of $1,000,000 was tendered by 
patriotic citizens. Of the volunteers who offered their services, 
only six regiments could be accepted under the quota of the State. 
But the time soon came when there was a place and a musket for 
every man. The six regiments raised were designated by numbers 
commencing with seven, as a mark of respect for the six regiments 
which had served in the Mexican war. Another call was antici- 
pated, and the Legislature authorized ten additional regiments to 
be organized. Over two hundred companies were immediately 
raised, from which were selected the required number. No sooner 
was this done than the President made another call for troops; six 
regiments were again our proportion, although by earnest solicita- 
tion the remaining four were accepted. There were a large n-umber 
of men with a patriotic desire to enter the service who were denied 
this privilege. Many of them wept, while others joined regiments 
from other States. In May, June and July seventeen regiments 
of infantry and five of cavalry were raised, and in the latter month, 
when the President issued his first call fur 500,000 volunteers, 
Illinois tendered thirteen regiments of infantry and three of cavalry, 
and so anxious were her sons to have the Rebellion crushed that 
the number could have been increased by thousands. At the 
close of 1861 Illinois had sent to the field nearly 50,000 men, and 
had 17,000 in camp awaiting marching orders, thus exceeding her 
full quota by 15,000. 

« — _^- 




In July and August of 1862 the President called for 600,000 
men — our quota of which was 52,296 — and gave until August 18 as 
the limits in which the number might be raised by volunteering, 
after which a draft would be ordered. The State had already fur- 
nished 17,000 in excess of her quota, and it was first thought this 
number would be deducted from the present requisition, but that 
could not be done. But thirteen days were granted to enlist this 
vast army, which had to come from the farmers and mechanics. 
The former were in the midst of harvest, but, inspired by love of 
country, over 50,000 of them left their harvests ungathered, their 
tools and their benches, the plows in their furrows, turning their 
backs on their homes, and before eleven days had expired the de- 
mands Of the Government were met and both quotas filled. 

The warwent on, and call followed call, until it began to look as 
if there would not be men enough in all the Free States to crush 
out and subdue the monstrous war traitors had inaugurated. But 
to every call for either men or money there was a willing and ready 
response. And it is a boast of the people that, had the supply of 
men fallen short, there were women brave enough, daring enough, 
patriotic enough, to have offered themselves as sacrifices on their 
country's altar. On the 21st of December, 1864, the last call for 
troops was made. It was for 300,000. In consequence of an im- 
perfect enrollment of the men subject to military duty, it became 
evident, ere this call was made, that Illinois was furnishing thou- 
sands of men more than what her quota would have been, had it 
been correct. So glaring had this disproportion beconte, that under 
this call the quota of some districts exceeded the number of able- 
bodied men in them. 


Following this sketch we give a schedule of all the volunteer 
troops organized from this State, from the commencement to the 
close of the war. It is taken from the Adjutant (xeneral's report. 
The number of the regiment, name of original Colonel call under 
which recruited, date of organization and muster into the United 
States' service, place of muster, and aggregate strength of each 
organization, from which we find that Illinois put into her one hun- 
dred and eighty regiments 256,000 men, and into the IFnited States 



army, through other States, enough to swell the number to 290,000. 
This far exceeds all the soldiers of the Federal Government in all 
the war of the [Revolution. Her total years of service were over 
600,000. She enrolled men from eighteen to forty-five years of age, 
when the law of Congress in 1864 — the test time — only asked for 
those from twenty to forty-five. Her enrollments were otherwise 
excessive. Her people wanted to go, and did not take the pains to 
correct the enrollment; thus the basis of fixing the quota was too 
great, and the quota itself, at least in the trying time, was far above 
any other State. The demand on some counties, as Monroe, for 
example, took every able-bodied man in the county, and then did 
not have enough to fill the quota. Moreover, Illinois sent 20,844 
men for one hundred days, for whom no credit was asked. She 
gave to the country 73,000 years of service above all calls. "With 
one-thirteenth of the population of the loyal States, she sent regu- 
larly one-tenth of all the soldiers, and in the perils of the closing 
calls, when patriots were few and weary, she sent one-eighth of all 
that were called for by her loved and honored son in the "White 
House. Of the brave boys Illinois sent to the front, there were 
killed in action, 5,888; died of wounds, 3,032; of disease, 19,496; 
in prison, 967; lost at sea, 205; aggregate, 29,588. As upon every 
field and upon every page of the history of this war, Illinois bore 
her part of the suffering in the prison-pens of the South. More 
than 800 names make up the awful column of Illinois' brave sons 
who died in the rebel prison of Andersonville, G-a. Who can 
measure or imagine the atrocities which would be laid before the 
world were the panorama of sufferings and terrible trials of these 
gallant men but half unfolded to view? But this can never be 
done until new words of horror are invented, and new arts dis- 
covered by which demoniacal fiendishness can be portrayed, and 
the intensest anguish of the human soul in ten thousand forms be 

No troops ever fought more heroically, stubbornly, and with bet- 
ter effect, than did the boys from the "Prairie State." At Pea 
Ridge, Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, Iuka, Corinth, Stone River, 
Holly Springs, Jackson, Vicksburg, Chicamanga, Lookout Moun- 
tain, Murfreesboro, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, Chattanooga, and 
on every other field where the clash of arms was heard, her sons 
were foremost. 




Illinois was almost destitute of firearms at the beginning of the 
conflict, and none could be procured in the East. The traitorous 
Floyd had turned over to the South 300,000 arms, leaving most 
arsenals in the North empty. Gov. Yates, however, received an 
order on the St. Louis arsenal for 10,000 muskets, which he put in 
the hands of Captain Stokes, of Chicago. Several unsuccessful 
attempts were made by the Captain to pass through the large crowd 
of rebels which had gathered around the arsenal, suspecting an 
attempt to move the arms would be made. He at last succeeded 
in gaining admission to the arsenal, but was informed by the com- 
mander that the slightest attempt to move the arms would be dis- 
covered and bring an infuriated mob upon the garrison. This fear 
was well founded, for the following day Gov. Jackson ordered 2,000 
armed men from Jefferson City down to capture the arsenal. Capt. 
Stokes telegraphed to Alton for a steamer to descend the river, and 
about midnight land opposite the arsenal, and proceeding to the 
same place with 700 men of the 7th Illinois, commenced loading 
the vessel. To divert attention from his real purpose, he had 500 
guns placed upon a different boat. As designed, this movement 
was discovered by the rabble, and the shouts and excitement upon 
their seizure drew most of the crowd from the arsenal. Capt. 
Stokes not only took all the guns his requisition called for, but 
emptied the arsenal. When all was ready, and the signal given to 
start, it was found that the immense weight had bound the bow of 
the boat to a rock, but after a few moments' delay the boat fell away 
from the shore and floated into deep water. 

"Which way?" said Capt. Mitchell, of the steamer. "'Straight 
in the regular channel to Alton," replied Capt. Stokes. "What if 
we are attacked?" said Capt. Mitchell. " Then we will fight," was 
the reply of Capt. Stokes. "What if we are overpowered?" said 
Mitchell. " Run the boat to the deepest part of the river and sink 
her," replied Stokes. "I'll do it," was the heroic answer of 
Mitchell, and away they went past the secession battery, past the 
St. Louis levee, and in the regular channel on to Alton. When 
they touched the landing, Capt. Stokes, fearing pursuit, ran to the 
market house and rang the fire bell. The citizens came flocking 
pell-mell to the river, and soon men, women and children were 
tugging away at that vessel load of arms, which they soon had 
deposited in freight cars and off to Springfield. 

N° — - - — s k< 



The people were liberal as well as patriotic; and while the men 
were busy enlisting, organizing and equipping companies, the ladies 
were no less active, and the noble, generous work performed by 
their tender, loving hands deserves mention along with the bravery, 
devotion and patriotism of their brothers upon the Southern fields 
of carnage. 

The continued need of money to obtain the comforts and neces- 
saries for the sick and wounded of our army suggested to the loyal 
women of the North many and various devices for the raising of 
funds. Every city, town and village had its fair, festival, picnic, 
excursion, concert, which netted more or less to the cause of 
hospital relief, according to the population of the place and the 
amount of energy and patriotism displayed on such occasions. 
Especially was this characteristic of our own fair State, and scarcely 
a hamlet within its borders which did not send something from its 
stores to hospital or battlefield, and in the larger towns and cities 
were well-organized soldiers' aid societies, working systematically 
and continuously from the beginning of the war till its close. The 
great State Fair held in Chicago in May, 1865, netted $250,000. 
Homes for traveling soldiers were established all over the State, in 
which were furnished lodging for 600,000 men, and meals valued 
at $2,500,000. Food, clothing, medicine, hospital delicacies, 
reading matter, and thousands of other articles, were sent to the 
boys at the front. 


Letters, messages of love and encouragement, were sent by 
noble women from many counties of the State to encourage the 
brave sons and brothers in the South. Below we give a copy of a 
printed letter sent from Knox county to the "boys in blue," as 
showing the feelings of the women of the Forth. It was headed, 
" From the Women of Knox County to Their Brothers in the 
Field." It was a noble, soul -inspiring message, and kindled anew 
the intensest love for home, country, and a determination to crown 
the stars and stripes with victory : 

" You have gone out from our homes, but not from our hearts. 
Never for one moment are you forgotten. Through weary march 
and deadly conflict our prayers have ever followed you; your 
sufferings are our sufferings, your victories our great joy. 


" If there be one of you who knows not the dear home ties, for 
whom no mother prays, no sister watches, to him especially we 
speak. Let him feel that though he may not have one mother he 
has many; he is the adopted child and brother of all our hearts. 
Not one of you is beyond the reach of our sympathies; no picket- 
station so lonely that it is not enveloped in the halo of our 

" During all the long, dark months since our country called you 
from us, your courage, your patient endurance, your fidelity, have 
awakened our keenest interest, and we have longed to give you an 
expression of that interest. 

"By the alacrity with which you sprang to arms, by the valor 
with which those arms have been wielded, you have placed our 
State in the front ranks; you have made her worthy to be the home 
of our noble President. For thus sustaining the honor of our 
State, dear to us as life, we thank you. 

" Of your courage we need not speak. Fort Donelson, Pea 
Ridge, Sbiloh, Stone River, Vicksburg, speak with blood-bathed 
lips of your heroism. The Army of the Southwest fights beneath 
no defeat-shadowed banner; to it, under G-od, the nation looks for 

"But we, as women, have other cause for thanks. We will not 
speak of the debt we owe the defenders of our Government; that 
blood-sealed bond no words can cancel. But we are your debtors 
in a way not often recognized. You have aroused us from the 
aimlessness into which too many of our lives had drifted, and have 
infused into those lives a noble pathos. "We could not dream our 
time away while our brothers were dying for us. Even your suffer- 
ings have worked together for our good, by inciting us to labor for 
their alleviation, thus giving us a work worthy of our womanhood. 
Everything that we have been permitted to do for your comfort 
has filled our lives so much the fuller of all that makes life valua- 
ble. You have thus been the means of developing in us a nobler 
type of womanhood than without the example of your heroism we 
could ever have attained. For this our whole lives, made purer 
and nobler by the discipline, will thank you. 

"This war will leave none of us as it found us. We cannot 
buffet the raging wave and escape all trace of the salt sea's foam. 
Toward better or toward worse we are hurried with fearful 




haste. If we at home feel this, what must i^ be to you! Our 
hearts throb with agony when we think of you wounded, suffering, 
dyin<*; but the thought of no physical pain touches us half so 
deeply as the thought of the temptations which surround you. 
We could better give you up to die on the battle-field, true to your 
God and to your country, than to have you return 'to us with 
blasted, blackened souls. When temptations assail fiercely, you 
must let the thought that your mothers are praying for strength 
enable you to overcome them. But fighting for a worthy cause 
worthily ennobles one; herein is our confidence that you wilJ 
return better men than you went away. 

" By all that is noble in your manhood ; by all that is true in 
our womanhood ; by all that is grand in patriotism ; by all that is 
sacred in religion, we adjure you to be faithful to yourselves, to us, 
to your country, and to your God. Never were men permitted to 
fight in a cause more worthy of their blood. Were you fighting 
for mere conquest, or glory, we could not give you up; but to sus- 
tain a principle, the greatest to which human lips have ever given 
utterance, even your dear lives are not too costly a sacrifice. Let 
that principle, the corner-stone of our independence, be crushed, 
and we are all slaves. Like the Suliote mothers, we might well 
clasp our children in our arms and leap down to death. 

"To the stern arbitrament of the sword is now committed the 
honor, the very life of this nation. You fight not for yourselves 
alone; the eyes of the whole world are on you; and if you fail our 
Nation's death-wail will echo through all coming ages, moaning a 
requiem over the lost hopes of oppressed humanity. But you will 
not fail, so sure as there is a God in Heaven. He never meant 
this richest argosy of the nations, freighted with the fears of all 
the world's tyrants, with the hopes of all its oppressed ones, to 
flounder in darkness and death. Disasters may come, as they have 
come, but they will only be, as they have been, ministers of good. 
Each one has led the nation upward to a higher plane, from whence 
it has seen with a clearer eye. Success could not attend us at the 
West so long as we scorned the help of the black hand, which 
alone had power to open the gate of redemption; the God of 
battles would not vouchsafe a victory at the East till the very foot- 
prints of a McClellan were washed out in blood. 

"But now all things seem ready; we have accepted the aid of 



that hand; those footsteps are obliterated. In his own good time 
we feel that God will give us the victory. Till that hour comes we 
bid you fight on. Though we have not attained that heroism, or 
decision, which enables us to gwe you up without a struggle, which 
can prevent our giving tears for your blood, though many of us 
must own our hearts desolate till you return, still we bid you stay 
and fight for our country, till from this fierce baptism of blood she 
shall be raised complete,' the dust shaken from her garments puri- 
fied, a new Memnon singing in the great G-odlight." 

sherman"s march to the sea. 

On the 15th of November, 1864, after the destruction of Atlanta, 
and the railroads behind him, Sherman, with his army, began his 
march to the sea-coast. The almost breathless anxiety with which 
his progress was watched by the loyal hearts of the nation, and the 
trembling apprehension with which it was regarded by all who 
hoped for rebel success, indicated this as one of the most remark- 
able events of the war; and so it proved. Of Sherman's army, 45 
regiments of infantry, three companies of artillery, and one of 
cavalry were from this State. Lincoln answered all rumors of 
Sherman's defeat with, "It is impossible; there is a mighty sight 
of fight in 100,000 Western men." Illinois soldiers brought home 
300 battle flags. The first United States flag that floated over 
Richmond was an Illinois flag. She sent messengers and nurses to 
every field and hospital to care for her sick and wounded sons. 

Illinois gave the country the great general of the war, U. S. 


One other name from Illinois comes up in all minds, embalmed 
in all hearts, that must have the supreme place in this sketch of 
our glory and of our nation's [honor : that name is Abraham 
Lincoln. The analysis of Mr. Lincoln's character is difficult on 
account of its symmetry. In this age we look with admiration at 
his uncompromising honesty; and well we may, for this saved us. 
Thousands throughout the length and breadth of our country, who 
knew him only as "Honest Old Abe," voted for him on that 
account; and wisely did they choose, for no other man could have 
carried us through the fearful night of war. When his plans were 
too vast for our comprehension, and his faith in the cause too sub- 




lime for our participation; when it was all night about us, and all 
dread before us, and all sad and desolate behind us; when not one 
ray shone upon our cause; when traitors were haughty and exult- 
ant at the South, and fierce and blasphemous at the North; when 
the loyal men seemed almost in the minority; when the stoutest 
heart quailed, the bravest cheek paled ; when generals were defeat- 
ing each other for place, and contractois were leeching out the very 
heart's blood of the republic; when everything else had failed us, 
we looked at this calm, patient man standing like a rock in the 
storm, and said, " Mr. Lincoln is honest, and we can trust him still." 
Holding to this single point with the energy of faith and despair, 
we held together, and under God he brought us through to victory. 
His practical wisdom made him the wonder of all lands. With 
such certainty did Mr. Lincoln follow causes to their ultimate 
effects, that his foresight of contingencies seemed almost prophetic. 
He is radiant with all the great virtues, and his memory will shed 
a glory upon this age that will fill the eyes of men as they look 
into history. Other men have excelled him in some points; but, 
taken at all points, he stands head and shoulders above every other 
man of 6,000 years. An administrator, he saved the nation in the 
perils of unparalleled civil war; a statesman, he justified his 
measures by their success; a philanthropist, he gave liberty to one 
race and salvation to another; a moralist, lie bowed from the sum- 
mit of human power to the foot of the cross; a mediator, he exer- 
cised mercy under the most absolute obedience to law; a leader, 
he was no partisan; a commander, he was untainted with blood; a 
ruler in desperate times, he was unsullied with crime; a man, he 
has left no word of passion, no thought of malice, no trick of craft, 
no act of jealousy, no purpose of selfish ambition. Thus perfected, 
without a model and without a peer, he was dropped into these 
troubled years to^ adorn and embellish all that is good and all that 
is great in our humanity, and to present to all coming time the 
representative of the divine idea of free government. It is not 
too much to say that away down in the future, when the republic 
has fallen from its niche in the wall of time; when the great war 
itself shall have faded out in the distance like a mist on the 
horizon; when the Anglo-Saxon shall be spoken only by the tongue 
of the stranger, then the generations looking this way shall see 
the great President as the supreme figure in this vortex of history. 

-. 5,\ 





The rebellion was ended with the surrender of Lee and his army, 
and Johnson and his command in April, 1865. Our armies at the 
time were up to their maximum strength, never so formidable, 
never so invincible; and, until recruiting ceased by order of Sec- 
retary Stanton, were daily strengthening. The necessity, however, 


for so vast and formidable numbers ceased with the disbanding of 
the rebel forces, which had for more than four years disputed the 
supremacy of the Government over its domain. And now the 
joyful and welcome news was to be borne to the victorious legions 
that their work was ended in triumph, and they were to be per- 
mitted "to see homes and friends once more." 




Schedule— Showing statement of volunteer troops organized within the State, and Bent to the 
field, commencing April, 1861, and ending December 81, 1865, with number of regiment, name 
of original commanding officer, date of organization and muster into United States' service, 
place of muster, and the aggregate strength of each organization. 


Commanding officer at organiza- 

Col. John Cook 

' ' Richard J. Oglesby. . 

" Eleazer A. Paine. . . 

" Jas. D. Morgan 

" W. H. L. Wallace... 

" John McArthur 

" John B. Wyman 

11 John M. Palmer 

" Thos. J. Turner 

" Robert F. Smith.... 

" Leonard F. Ross 

" Michael K. Lawler . . . 

u John B. Turchin 

" Chas. C. Marsh 

" Ulysses S. Grant 

u Henry Dougherty... . 

" Jas. A. Mulligan 

u Frederick Hecker. . . 

" Wm. N. Coler 

lt JohnM. Loomis 

" Nap. B. Buford 

" A. K. Johnson 

" Jas. S. Rearden — 

" Philip B. Fouke 

" John A. Logan.. 

John Logan. 
Chas. E, Hovey. . 

Edward N. Kirk 

Gus. A. Smith 

Nich. Greuse! 

Julius White 

Wm. P. Carlin 

Austin Lisht 

Steph. G. Hicks 

Isaac C. Pugh 

Wm.A. Webb 

Julius Raith 

Chae.Noblesdorff ... 

John E. Smith. . 

John A. Davis 

John Bryner 

Isham N. Hayuie. . . . 

Wm. R.Morrison... 

Moses M. Bane 

G. W. dimming. . . . 

Isaac G. Wilson 

W. H. W. Cushman. 

Thos. W. Hams... . 

David Stuart 

Robert Kirkham. . . . 

Silas D.Baldwin.... 

Wm. F. Lvnch 

P. Sidney'Post 

Silas C. Toler 

Jacob Fry 

James M. True 

Francis Afora 

Lt. Col. D. D. Williams.. 
Col. Daniel Cameron .... 

Patrick E. Burke 

Rosell M. Hough... . 

Elias Stuart 

Jos. II. Tucker 


Othniel Gilbert 

June 13, 1861. 
June 15, 1861.. 
June 25, 1861. . 
June 18, 1861. . 
July 8, 1861.. 

Date of organization and 
muster into the United 
States service. 

July 25, 1861. 

May 24, 1861. 
May 25, 1861. 
May 24, 1861. 

May 28, 1861.. 

Oct. 31, 1861... 

Aug. 3, 1861 . . . 
July 27, 1861.. 
Sept. 30, 1861. 
Sept. 8,1861.. 
Dec. 31, 1861. 
Aug. 15, 1861.. 
Sept. 7, 1801.. 

Sept. 21, 1861 

Sept. 18, 1361 

Aug. 15, 1861. .. 
December. 1861'.. 

Aug. 10, 1»0I 

Aug, 9, 1801 

Sept. 17, 1861 

Dec. 16, 1861 

Sept. 18, 1861.... 
Dec. 26, 1861. ... 

Dec. 28, 1861 

Oct. 1, 1861 

Nov. 18, 1861 

Dec. 31, 1861 

Sept. 12, 1861 .... 
Dec. '61, Feb. '62.. 

Nov. 1!), 1861 

March. 1862 

Feb. 18. 1862 

Oct. 31, 1861 

Feb. 27, 1862 

Dec. 26, 1861 

Dec. 24, 1861 

August, 1861 

Feb. 17,1862 

March 7, 1862.... 
April 10,1862 

Dec. 31, 1862.. 
May 15, 1862.. 
April. 1862.... 
Juno 13, 1862. . 
June 20, 1862. . 
June 14, 1862. . 
July 4, 1862... 
July 26, 1862.. 

Place where mustered 
into the United States 

Cairo, Illinois. 







Joliet .... 
Chicago. . . 

Camp But'er.. 

Camp Butler.. 
Camp Butler.. 
Camp Butler.. 
Camp Butler. . 
Camp Butler.. 
Camp Butler. 
Camp Butler. . 



Camp Butler.... 





Camp Butler 



Camp Butler 


Camp Butler 

Camp Butler. 


Camp Douglas. 




Camp Dou^laM 
Shawnoetown .. . 
Camp Douglas. . 
Camp Douglas . 
St. Louie, Mo. . . 





Camp Butler. . . . 
Camp Douglas.. 
St. Louis Mo. .. 
Camp Douglas.. 

Camp Butler 

Camp Douglas.. 

Camp Butler 

Camp Douglas.. 




2' 128 





Schedule — Showing statement, of volunteer troops organized within the State, and sent to the 
field, commencing April, 1861, and ending December 31, 1865, with number of regiment, name 
of original commanding officer, date of organization and muster into United States' service, 
place of muster, and the aggregate strength of each organization. 



Commanding officer at orgauiza- 

Col. Frederick A. Starring.. 

" Jas. F. Jaquess 

'* Jason Marsh 

" George Ryan 

" Alonzo W. Mack..., 

•' David P. Grier 

11 W. H. Bennison 

'• Lyman Guinnip 

" Thos. G. Allen 

" Jas. J. Dollins 

'■ Frederick Hecker 

' Abner C. Harding 

- Louis H. Waters 

" Robert S. Moore 

" David D. Irons 

" John E. Whiting 

" F. T. Sherman 

•' John Christopher 

" Timothy O'Mera 

'• Henry M.Day 

■' Smith D. Atkins 

' ■ Holden Putnam 

' Wm. W. Orme 

' Lawr'n S. Church 

" Thos. E. Champion. ... 

" F.S.Rutherford 

'■ J. J. Funkhouser 

99 " G. W.K.Bailey 

100 '• Fred. A. Bartleson 

101 " Chas. H. Fox 

102 " Wm. McMurtry 

103 '• Amos C. Babcock 

104 " Absalom B. Moore 

105 " Daniel Dustin 

% " Robert B. Latham 

10? " Thomas Snell 

10g " John Warner 

109 " Alex. J. Nimmo 

110 '• Thos. S. Casey 

111 " James S. Martin 

112 " T.J.Henderson 

11.3 '■ Geo. B. Hoge 

114 •' James W. Judy. 

11.5 " Jesse H. Moore 

116 " Nathan H. Tupper 

117 " Risden M. Moore 

118 "' John G.Fonda 

119 " Thos. J. Kenney 

130 " George W. McKeaig — 

121 Never organized 

122 Col. John I. Rinaker 

12y iL James Moore 

124 " Thomas J. Sloan 

125 " Oscar F. Harmon 

126 " Jonathan Richmond 

127 lk John VanArman 

128 " Robert M. Hudley 

129 " George P. Smith 

130 " Nathaniel Niles 

131 " George \V. Neeley 

132 " Thomas C. Pickett 

133 " Tbad. Phillips 

134 " W. W. McChesney 

135 " John S.Wolfe 

Date of organization and 
muster into the United 
States service. 

Aug. 21,1862... 

Sept. 4, 1862... 
Sept. 2. 1862.. 
Aug. 22, 1862. 
*Sept. 3, 1863. 
Sept. 1, 1862... 
Aug. 28,1862.. 
Aug. 25, 1862... 
Aug. 26, 1862.. 

Aug. 21, 1862... 
Sept. 1,1862... 
Aug. 27, 1862. . 

Sept 22, 1862. . 
Aug. 27, 1862... 
*Aug 25, 18H.'.. 
Nov. 22, 1862.. 
Sept. 8, 1862... 
Sept. 4,1862.... 
Oct. 13,1862.... 
Aug. 20,1862... 
Sept. 4,1862... 
Sept. 6, 1862... 
Sept. 8, 1863 . 
Sept. 8, 1H6J .. 
Aug. 26, 1862. . 
Aug. 30, 1862. 
Sept. 2, 1862... 

Oct, 2, 1862. . . . 
Aug. 27, 1862. 
Sept. 2, 1862.. 
Sept. 17, 1862. . 
Sept. 4,1862... 
Aug. 28, 1862. . 
Sept. 11,1861., 

Sept. 18, 1862. 
Sept. 12, 1862. . 
Oct. 1, 1862. . . . 
Sept. 18, 1862. . 
Sept. 13, 1362. . 
Sept. 30, 1862.. 
Sept. 19, 1862.. 
Nov 29. 1862. 
Oct. 7, 1862... 
Oct. 29, 1862... 

Sept. 4,1862.. 
Sept. 6 1862 .. 
Sept. 10. 1862. 
Sept. 4. 1862.. 

*Sept. 5, 1862. . 
Dec 18, 1862... 
Sept. 8, 1862... 
Oct. 25.1865... 
Nov. 13.1862... 
Junel, 1864... 
May 31,1864... 

June 6,1864... 

Place where mustered 
into the United States 

Camp Douglas 

Camp Butler 










Monmouth , 





Camp Douglas , 

Camp Douglas 

Camp Douglas 

Camp Butler 


Princeton and Chicago.. 




Camp Butler 


Florence, Pike Co., 


Jacksonville. . . , 






Camp Butler 






Camp Douglas 


Camp Butler 


Camp Butler 



Camp Butler 



Camp Butler. . . 



CampDouglas . 
Camp Butler. . . 


Camp Massac. 

Camp Fry 

Camp Butler. 

Camp Fry 


8 -A 



























































Schedule— Showing statement of volunteer troops organized within the State, and sent to the 
field, commencing April, 1861, and ending December 31, 1865, with number of regiment, name 
of original commanding officer, date of organization and muster into United States' service, 
place of muster, and the aggregate strength of each organization. 


Commanding officer at organiza- 

Date of organization and 
muster into the United 
States service. 

Place where mustered 
into the United States 

n «0q 




Fred. A. Johns 

John Wood 

J, W. Goodwin 

Peter Davidson 


Stephen Bronson. . . 
Rollin V. Ankney.. 
Dudley C. Smith.... 

Cyrus Hall 

George W. Lackey. 

Henry H. Dean 

Hiram F. Sickles. .. 
Horace H. Wilsie. . . 
Wm. C. Kueffner... 
George W. Keener. . 
French B. Woodall. 
F. D. Stephenson. . . 
Stephen Bronson. . . 
McLean F.Wood.. 
Gustavus A. Smith. 
Alfred F. Smith.... 

J. W. Wi'son 

John A. BroBS 

. John Curtis 

Simon J. Stookey.. 
James Steele 

June 1, 1864... 
JuneS, 1864... 
June 21, 1864.. 
June 1, 1864... 
June 18, 1864.. 
June 16, 1864.. 
June 18, 1864. . 
June 11, 1864. . 
Oct. 21,1864... 
June 9, 1864... 
Sept. 20,1864.. 
Feb. 18, 1865... 

Feb. 11, 1865. . 
Feb. 14, 1865 . 
Feb. 25, 1865. . 
Feb. 18, 1865.. 
Feb. 27, 1865.. 
Feb. 22, 1865. 
Feb. 28, 1865 . 
March 9, 1865. 
Dec. 1, 1861... 

June 21, 1864.. 
June 15, 1864.. 





Camp Butler. . 


Camp Butler.. 


Alton, Ills 

Camp Butler. . 
Camp Butler. . 



Camp Butler.. 
Camp Butler. . 


Camp Butler. . 


Camp Butler. . 
Camp Butler. . 




Camp'Butler. . 
Camp Butler. . 




1 Col. Thomas A. Marshall 

Silas Noble 

Eugene A. Carr 

T. Lyle Dickey 

John J. Updegraff 

Thomas H. Cavanaugh . 

Wm. Pitt Kellogg 

John F. Farnsworth. . . . 

Albert G. Brackett 

James A. Barrett 

Robert G. Ingersoll 

Arno Voss 

Joseph W. Bell 

Horace Capron 

Warren Stewart 

Christian Thielman 

John L. Beveridge 

June, 1861 

Aug. 24, " 

Sept. 21, " 

Sept. 30, " 

December " 

Nov., '61, Jan., '62. 

August, '61 

Sept. 18, '61 

Oct. 26, '61 

Nov. 25,'61 

Dec. 20,'61 

Dec, '61, Feb., '62.. 

Jan. 7, '63 

Organized Dec. 25, '63. . 

Jan. and April, '63 

Jan. 28, '64 

Camp Butler. . . 
Camp Butler. . . 


Camp Butler. . . 
Camp Butler. . . 
Camp Butler. . . 
St. (JharleB. . . . 
Camp Douglas. 
Camp Butler. . . 


Camp Butler. . 
Camp Douglas. 


Camp Butler. . . 

Camp Butler 

St. Charles 




and Staff. 

C. M. Willard 

Ezra Taylor 

C. Haughtaling 

Edward McAllister . 
A. C. Waterhouse.. 
John T. Cheney . . . 

Arthur O'Leary 

Axel Silversparr 

Edward Bouton.. . 

A. Franklin 

John Rourke 

John B. Miller 


Oct. 31,1861. 
Jan. 14, '62. . . 
Dec. 19, '61... 
Feb. 25, '62. . 
Feb. 28, '62 . 
Feb. 20, '62.. 
Feb. 15, '62... 
•Tan. 9, '62.... 
Feb. 22, '62.. 
Aug. 12, '62 






Camp Butler. . . 




Shawneetown . 






~i> \ 



Schedule— Showing statement of volunteer troops organized within the State, and sent to the 
field, commencing April, 1861, and ending December '31, 1865, with number of regiment, name 
of original commanding officer, date of organization and muster into United States service, 
place of muster, and the aggregate strength of each organization, 


Commanding officer at organiza 

Date of organization and 
muster into the United 
StateB service. 

Place where mustered 
into the United States 


2 ® 


Peter Davidson 

Riley Madison 

Caleb Hopkins 

Jasper M. Dresser 

Adolph Schwartz 

John W. Powell . . . 
Charles J. Stolbrand. 
Andrew Steinbeck... 
Charles W, Keith. .. 
Benjamin P. Rogers. 
William H. Bolton... 
JohnC. Phillips 

Field and Staff 


Aug. 17,1861. 
June 80, '61... 
Aug. 5, '61.... 
Dec. 17, '61 . . . 
Feb. 1, '62..... 
Dec. 11, '61.... 
Dec. 31, '61.,.. 

Feb. 28, '63.... 
June 6, '62 






Cape Girardeau, Mo.. 

Camp Butler 

Camp Butler 

Camp Butler 

Camp Butler 





Board of Trade 




Coggswell's. . . 





James S. Stokea 

Thomas F. Vaughn 

Charles G. Coofey 

George W. Renwick. . . 
William Coggswell . . . 

Ed. C. Henshaw 

Lyman Bridges 

John H. Colvin 

July 31, 1862. 
Aug. 21, '62.. 
Aug. 29, '62.. 
Nov. IE, '62.. 
Sept. 23, '61.. 
Oct. 15. '62... 
Jan. 1, '62.... 
Oct. 10, '63. . . 


Cnmp Butler.. . 











Infantry 185,941 

Cavalry 3^-°82 

Artillery 7,277 


Shadrach Bond — Was the first Governor of Illinois. He was a 
native of Maryland and born in 1773; was raised on a farm; re- 
ceived a common English education, and came to Illinois in 1794 
He served as a delegate in Congress from 1811 to 1815, where he 
procured the right of pre-emption of public land. He was elected 
Governor in 1818; was beaten for Congress in 1824 by Daniel P. 
Cook He died at Kaskaskia, April 11, 1830. 

Edward Coles— Was born Dec. 15, 1786, in Virginia. His father 
was a slave-holder; gave his son a collegiate education, and left to 
him a large number of slaves. These he liberated, giving each 
head of a family 160 acres of land and aconsiderablo sum of money. 




He was President Madison's private secretary. He came to Illinois 
in 1819, was elected Governor in 1822, on the anti-slavery ticket; 
moved to Philadelphia in 1833, and died in 1868. 

Ninian Edwards. — In 1809, on the formation of the Territory of 
Illinois, Mr. Edwards was appointed Governor, which position he 
retained until the organization of the State, when he was sent to 
the United States Senate. He was elected Governor in 1826. He 
was a native of Maryland and born in 1775; received a collegiate 
education; was Chief Justice of Kentucky, and a Kepublican in 

John Reynolds — Was born in Pennsylvania in 1788, and came 
with his parents to Illinois in 1800, and in 1830 was elected Gov- 
ernor on the Democratic ticket, and afterwards served three terms 
in Congress. He received a classical education, yet was not polished. 
He was an ultra Democrat; attended the Charleston Convention in 
1860, and urged the seizure of United States arsenals by the 
South. He died in 1865 at Belleville, childless. 

Joseph, Duncan. — In 1S34 Joseph Duncan was elected Governor 
by the Whigs, although formerly a Democrat. He had previously 
served four terms in Congress. He was born in Kentucky in 1794; 
had but a limited education; served with distinction in the war of 
1812; conducted the campaign of 1832 against Black Hawk. He 
came to Illinois when quite young. 

Thomas Carlin — Was elected as a Democrat in 1838. He had 
but a meager education; held many minor offices, and was active 
both in the war of 1812 and the Black Hawk war. He was born in 
Kentucky in 1789; came to Illinois in 1812, and died at Carrollton, 
Feb. 14, 1852. 

Thomas Fo?'d— Was born in Pennsylvania in the year 1800; was 
brought by his widowed mother to Missouri in 1804, and shortly 
afterwards to Illinois. He received a good education, studied law; 
was elected four times Judge, twice as Circuit Judge, Judge of 
Chicago and Judge of Supreme Court. He was elected Governor 
by the Democratic party in 1842; wrote his history of Illinois in 
1847 and died in 1850. 

Augustus C. French— Was born in JSTew Hampshire in 1808; 
was admitted to the bar in 1831, and shortly afterwards moved i~ 
Illinois when in 1846 he was elected Governor. On the adoption 
of the Constitution of 1848 he was again chosen, serving until 1853. 
He was a Democrat in politics. 



Joel A. Matteson — Was born in Jefferson county, N". Y., in 1808. 
His father was a farmer, and gave his son only a common school 
education. He first entered upon active life as a small tradesman, 
but subsequently became a large contractor and manufacturer. He 
was a heavy contractor in building the Canal. He was elected Gov- 
ernor in 1852 upon the Democratic ticket. 

William H. Bissell — "Was elected by the Republican party in 
1856. He had previously served two terms in Congress; was 
colonel in the Mexican war and has held minor official positions. He 
was born in New York State in 1811; received a common educa- 
tion; came to Illinois early in life and engaged in the medical pro- 
fession. This he changed for the law and became a noted orator, 
and the standard bearer of the Republican party in Illinois. He 
died in 1860 while Governor. 

Richard Yates — "The war Governor of Illinois," was born in 
Warsaw, Ky., in 1818; came to Illinois in 1831: served two terms 
in Congress; in 1860 was elected Governor, and in 1865 United 
States Senator. He was a college graduate, and read law under J. J. 
Hardin. He rapidly rose in his chosen profession and charmed the 
people with oratory. He filled the gubernatorial chair during the 
trying days of the Rebellion, and by his energy and devotion won 
the title of " War Governor." He became addicted to strong drink, 
and died a drunkard. 

Richard J. Oglesby — Was born in 1824, in Kentucky; an orphan 
at the age of eight, came to Illinois when only 12 years old. He 
was apprenticed to learn the carpenter's trade; worked some at 
farming and read law occasionally. He enlisted in the Mexican 
War and was chosen First Lieutenant. After his return he again 
took up the law, but during the gold fever of 1849 went to Califor- 
nia; soon returned, and, in 1852, entered upon his illustrious 
political career. He raised the second regiment in the State, to 
suppress the Rebellion, and for gallantry was promoted to Major 
General. In 1864 he was. elected Governor, and re-elected in 1872, 
and resigned for a seat in the United States Senate. In 1884 he 
was again elected Governor. 

John M. Palmer — Was born in Kentucky in 1817, and came 
to Illinois in 1831. He was admitted to the bar in 1839. 
He was elected to the office of Probate Judge of Macoupin 
County in 1843; was a member of the Constitutional Con- 

N Q — - ^~ 


vention in 1847; County Judge in 1849; elected to the State 
Senate in 1852; member of the Peace Conference in 1861. He 
was Colonel of the Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, and rose by suc- 
cessive promotions to Major-General, commander of the Four- 
teenth Army Corps, and afterward of the Department of Ken- 
tucky. He was Governor from 1869 till 1873. 

John L. Beveridge — Wa3 born in Greenwich, "Washington Co., 
NY., July 6, 1824. In 1842 his father moved with his family 
to Illinois, and settled in De Kalb County. In 1861 he helped 
organize and was elected Second Major of the Eighth Illinois 
Cavalry, and in 1863 was commissioned Colonel of the Seven- 
teenth Illinois Cavalry. In November, 1870, he was elected to 
the State Senate; in November, 1871, was elected to the United 
States Congress, resigning in January, 1873, to enter upon the 
duties of Lieutenant-Governor. Jan. 21, 1873, succeeded Oglesby, 
who was elected to the United States Senate. Thus, inside of 
three weeks, he was a Congressman, Lieutenant-Governor and 
Governor. Since the expiration of his term of office he has been 
practicing law in Chicago. 

Shelby M. Cullom — Was born in Kentucky in 1828; studied 
law, was admitted to the bar, and commenced the practice of his 
profession in 1848; was elected to the State Legislature in 1856, 
and again in 1860. Served on the war commission at Cairo, 1862, 
and was a member of the 39th, 40th and 41st Congress, in all of 
which he served with credit to his State. He was again elected to 
the State Legislature in 1872, and re-elected in 1874, and was 
elected Governor of Illinois in 1876. He was elected United 
States Senator in 1883 to succeed Davis. 



Pierre Menard — Was the first Lieut-Gov. of Illinois. He was 
born in Quebec, Canada, in 1767. He came to Illinois in 1790 
where he engaged in the Indian trade and became wealthy. He 
died in 1844. Menard County was named in his honor. 

Adolphus F. Hubbard — Was elected Lieut.-Gov. in 1822. 
Four years later he ran for Governor against Edwards, but was 

* William Kinney — Was elected in 1826. He was a Baptist 
clergyman; was born in Kentucky in 1781 and came to Illinois in 

Zadock Casey — Although on the opposition ticket to Governor 

,T-z:- — 


Keynolds, the successful Gubernatorial candidate, yet Casey was 
elected Lieut.-Gov. in 1839. He subsequently served several 
terms in Congress. 

Alexander M. Jenkins— Was elected on ticket with Gov. Duncan 
in 1834 by a handsome majority. 

S. H. Anderson — Lieut. -Gov. under Gov. Carlin, was chosen in 
1838. He was a native of Tennessee. 

John Moore — Was born in England in 1793 ; came to Illinois 
in 1830 ; was elected Lieut. -Gov. in 1842. He won the name of 
"Honest John Moore." 

Joseph B. Wells — Was chosen with Gov. French at his first 
election in 1846. 

William McMurtry—lu 1848, when Gov. French was again 
chosen Govenor, William McMurtry, of Knox County, was elected 
Lieut. -Governor. 

Gustavus P Koerner — Was elected in 1852. He was born in 
Germany in 1809. At the age of 22 came to Illinois. In 1872 
he was a candidate for Governor on Liberal ticket, but was 

John Wood — Was elected in 1856 and on the death of Gov. 
Bissell became Governor. 

Francis A. Hoffman — Was chosen with Gov. Yates in 1860. 
He was born in Prussia in 1822, and came to Illinois in 1840. 

William Bross — Was born in New Jersey; came to Illinois in 
1848; was elected to office in 1864. 

John Dougherty — Was elected in 1868. 

Andrew Shuman—Was elected Nov. 7, 1876. 

John M. Hamilton — Was elected in 1880. In 1882 Cullom was 
elected to the United States Senate, and Hamilton became 

J. C. Smith — Was elected Lieutenant-Governor in 1884. 


Ninian W. Edwards lS54-'56 Newton Bateman 1865-74 

W. H. Powell 1857-'58 Samuel M. Etter 1865-78 

Newton Bateman 1859-'62 James P. Slade 1879-'82 

John P. Brooks 1863-'64 Hen-y Raab 1883-'86 



Daniel P.Cook 1819 

"William Mears 1820 

Samuel D. Lockwood 1821-'22 

James Turney. 1823-'28 

George Forquer 1829-'32 

James Sample 1833-"34 

Ninian W. Edwards 1834-'35 

Jesse B. Thomas, Jr 1835 

Walter B. Scates 1836 

Usher F.Linder 1837 

Geo. W.Olney 1838 

Wickliffe Kitchell 1838 

Josiah Lamborn 1841-'42 

James A. McDougall 1843-'46 

David B. Campbell .' . 1846 

[Office abolished and re-created in 1867] 

Robert G. Ingersoll 1867-'68 

Washington Bushnell 1869-'72 

James K. Edsall 1873-'80 

James McCartney 1881-84 

George Hunt 1885-'88 


John Thomas 1818-'19 

R. K. McLaughlin 1819-'22 

Abner Field 1823-'26 

James Hall 1827-'30 

John Dement 1831-'36 

Charles Gregory 1836 

John D. Whiteside 1837-'40 

Milton Carpenter 1841-48 

John Moore 1848-'56 

James Miller 1857-'59 

William Butler 1859-'62 

Alexander Starne 1863-'64 

James H. Beveridge 1865-'66 

George W. Smith 1867-'63 

Erastua N. Bates 1869-'72 

Edward Rutz 1873-'74 

Thomas S. Ridgeway 1875-76 

Edward Ruiz 1877--78 

John C. Smith 1879-'80 

Edward Rutz 1881-'82 

John C. Smith 1883-'84 

Jacob Gross 1885-'88 


Elias K. Kane 1818-'22 

Samuel D. Lockwood 1822-'23 

David Blackwell 1823-'24 

Morris Birkbeck 1824 

George Forquer 1825-'28 

Alexander P. Field 1829-40 

Stephen A. Douglas 1840 

Lyman Trumbull 1841-'42 

Thompson Campbell 1843-'46 

Horace S. Cooley 1846-'49 

David L. Gregg 1850-'52 

Alexander Starne 1853-'56 

Ozias M. Hatch 1857-64 

Sharon Tyndale 1865-'68 

Edward Rummel 1869-72 

George H. Harlow 1873-'80 

Henry D. Dement 1881-84 

Henry D. Dement 1885-'88 




Elijah C. Berry. 1818-'31 Jesse K. Dubois 1857-'64 

J. T. B. Stapp 1831-'35 Orlin H. Miner 1865-'68 

Levi Davis 1835-'40 Charles E. Lippincott 1869-'76 

James Shields 1841-'42 Thomas B. Needles 1877-80 

W. L. D. Ewing 1843-'45 Charles P. Swigert 1881-'84 

Thomas H. Campbell 1846-'56 Charles P. Swigert 1885-'88 


Ninian Edwards. — On the organization of the State in 1818, 
Edwards, the popular Territorial Governor, was chosen Senator 
for the short term, and in 1819 was re-elected for full term. 

Jesse B. Thomas — One of the Federal Judgesduring the entire 
Territorial existence, was chosen Senator on organization of the 
State, and re-elected in 1823, and served till 1829. 

John McLean. — In 1824 Edwards resigned, and McLean was 
elected to fill his unexpired term. He was born in North Carolina 
in 1791, and came to Illinois in 1815; served one term in Con- 
gress, and in 1829 was elected to the United States Senate, but the 
following year died. He is said to have been the most gifted man 
of his period in Illinois. 

, Elias Kent Kane — "Was elected Nov. 30, 1824, for the term be- 
ginning March 4, 1825. In 1830 he was re-elected, but died before 
he expiration of his term. He was a native of New York, and in 
1814 came to Illinois. He was first Secretary of State, and after- 
ward State Senator. 

David Jewett Baker — Was appointed to fill the unexpired term 
of John McLean in 1830, Nov. 12, but the Legislature refused to 
endorse the choice. Baker was a native of Connecticut, born in 
1792, and died in Alton in 1869. 

John M. Rohinson. — Instead of Baker, the Governor's appointee, 
the Legislature chose Robinson, and in 1834 he was re-elected. In 
1843 was elected Supreme Judge of the State, but within two 
months died. He was a native of Kentucky, and came to Illinois 
while quite young. 

William L. D. Ewing — Was elected in 1835 to fill the vacancy 
occasioned by the death of Kane. He was a Kentnckian. 

Richard M. Young — Was elected in 1836, and held his seat 
from March 4, 1837, to March 4, 1843, a full term. He was a 



^ f — - — - — 9 k>. 


native of Kentucky; was Circuit Judge before his election to the 
Senate, and Supreme Judge in 1842. He died in an insane asylum 
at Washington. 

Samuel McRoberts — The first native Illinoisian ever elevated to 
the high office of U. S. Senator from this State, was born in 1799, 
and died in 1843 on his return home from Washington. He was 
elected Circuit Judge in 1824, and March 4, 1841, took his seat in 
the TJ. S. Senate. 

Sidney Breese — Was elected to the U. S. Senate, Dec. 17, 1842, 
and served a full term. He was born in Oneida county, N. Y. 
He was Major in the Black Hawk war; Circuit Judge, and in 1841 
was elected Supreme Judge. He served a full term in the U. S. 
Senate, beginning March 4, 1843, after which he was elected to the 
Legislature, again Circuit Judge, and, in 1857, to the Supreme 
Court, which position he held until his death in 1878. 

James Semple — Was the successor of Samuel McRoberts, and 
was appointed by Gov. Ford in 1843. He was afterwards elected 
Judge of the Supreme Court. 

Stephen A. Douglas — Was elected Dec. 14, 1846. He had pre- 
viously served three terms as Congressman. He became his own 
successor in 1853 and again in 1859. From his first entrance in the 
Senate he was acknowledged the peer of Clay, Webster and Cal- 
houn, with whom he served his first term. His famous contest 
with Abraham Lincoln for the Senate in 1858 is the most memor- 
able in the annals of our country. It was called the battle of the 
giants, and resulted in Douglas' election to the Senate, and Lincoln 
to the Presidency. He was born in Brandon, Vermont, April 23, 
1S13, and came to Illinois in 1833, and died in 1861. He was 
appointed Secretary of State by Gov. Carlin in 1840, and shortly 
afterward to the Supreme Bench. 

James Shields — Was elected and assumed his seat in the IT. S. 
Senate in 1849, March 4. He was bora in Ireland in 1810, came 
to the United States in 1827. He served in the Mexican army, was 
elected Senator from Wisconsin, and in 1879 from Missouri for a 
short term. 

Lyman Trumbull— Took his seat in the 0". S. Senate March 4, 
1855, and became his own successor in 1861. He had previously 
served one term in the Lower House of Congress, and served on 
the Supreme Bench. He was born in Connecticut; studied iaw 

-9 >> 


and came to Illinois early in life, where for years he was actively 
engaged in politics. He resides in Chicago. 

Owill H. Browning— Was appointed U. S. Senator in 1861, to 
fill the seat made vacant by the death of Stephen A. Douglas, until 
a Senator could be regularly elected. Mr. Browning was born in 
Harrison county, Kentucky; was admitted to the bar in 1831, and 
settled in Quincy, Illinois, where he engaged in the practice of law, 
and was instrumental, with his friend, Abraham Lincoln, in form- 
ing the Eepublican party of Illinois at the JBloomington Conven- 
tion. He entered Johnson's cabinet as Secretary of the Interior, 
and in March, 1868, was designated by the President to perform the 
duties of Attorney General, in addition to his own, as Secretary of 
the Interior Department. 

William A. Richardson — "Was elected to the U. S. Senate in 
1863, to fill the unexpired term of his friend, Stephen A Douglas. 
He was >born in Fayette county, Ky., about 1810, studied law, 
and settled in Illinois ; served as captain in the Mexican "War, and 
on the battle-field of Buena Yista, was promoted for bravery, by a 
unanimous vote of his regiment. He served in the Lower House 
of Congress from 1847 to 1856, continually. 

Richard Yates — "Was elected to the IT. S. Senate in 1865, serv- 
ing a full term of six years. He died in St. Louis, Mo!, Nov. 27 

John A. Logan — "Was elected to the U. S. Senate in 1871. He 
was born in Jackson county, 111., Feb. 9, 1826, received a common 
school education, and enlisted as a private in the Mexican War 
where he rose to the rank of Regimental Quartermaster. On 
returning home he studied law, and came to the bar in 1852; was 
elected in 1858 a Representative to the 36th Congress and re-elected 
to the 37th Congress, resigning in 1861 to take part in the sup- 
pression of the Rebellion; served as Colonel and subsequently as a 
Major General, and commanded, with distinction, the armies of 
the Tennessee. He was again elected to the U. S. Senate in 1879 
for six years. 

David Davis — "Was elected to the U. S. Senate in 1877 for a term 
of six years. He was born in Cecil county, Md., March 9, 1815, 
graduated at Kenyon College, Ohio, studied law, and removed to 
Illinois in 1835; was admitted to the bar and settled in Blooming- 
ton, where he has since resided and amassed a large fortune. He 

— : -TZlk- 


was for many years the intimate friend and associate of Abraham 
Lincoln, rode the circuit with him each year, and after Lincoln's 
election to the Presidency, was appointed by him to fill the position 
of Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. 



John McLean 1818 Daniel P. Cook 1825-26 


Daniel P. Cook 1819-20 Joseph Duncan 1827-28 


Daniel P. Cook 1821-22 Joseph Duncan 1829-30 


Daniel P. Cook 1823-24 Joseph Duncan 1831-32 


Joseph Duncan 1833-34 Zadock Casey 1833-34 


Zadock Casey 1835-36 William E. May 1835-36 

John Reynolds 1835-36 


Zadock Casey 1837-38 William L. May 1837-38 

John Reynolds 1837-38 


Zadock Casey 1839-40 John T. Stuart 1839-40 

John Reynolds 1839-40 


Zadock Casey 1841^2 John T. Stuart 1841-42 

John Reynolds 1841-42 


Robert Smith 1843^4 Joseph P. Hoge 1843-44 

Orlando B. Pinklin 1843-44 John J. Hardin 1843-44 

Stephen A. Douglas 1843-44 John Wentworth 1843-44 

John A. McClernand 1843-44 


Robert Smith 1845-46 Joseph P. Hoge 1845-46 

Stephen A. Douglas 1845-46 John A. McClernand 1845-46 

Orlando B. Finklin 1845-46 John Wentworth 1845-46 

John J. Hardin 1845 


John Wentworth 1847-48 Orlando B. Finklin 1847-48 

Thomas J. Turner 1847 Robert Smith 1847-18 

Abraham Lincoln 1847-18 William A. Richardson 1847-48 

John A. McClernand 1847-48 



<4_ •*- 

_^ 3 






a ' 

William A. Richardson. 





William H. Bissell 



William A. Richardson. 
Orlando B. Pinklin. . . . 






William H. Bissell 



. , 1851-52 



William H Bissell 


. 1853-54 




. . .1853-54 



Elihu B. Washburne . . . 




... 1855-56 
,. ,1855-56 
... ,1855-56 




. . . .1857-58 



, 1857-58 







, , . .1859-60 

.. .1859-60 
. . . .1859-60 




John A. McClernand . . . 

, .1861-62 



. .1861-63 


Philip B. Fouke 

. ..1861-62 

, , 1861-62 


, , . , 1861-62 


... 1863-64 

, . 1863-64 

William J. Allen 




, ..1863-64 



*— ■" 

-. & 



Q »_ 






Andrew Z. Kuykandall , . . 


Shelby M. Cullom 


, . 1863-64 



... ,1865 66 
....1865 66 
... 1865-66 

, . 1867-68 

1867 68 

, , 1867 68 

....1867 68 

. . 1867 68 


, , 1867 68 

. .1869 70 



John T. Stuart 





Anthony B. Thornton. . . 

Elihu B. Washburne. . . 
Albert G. Burr 












Shelby M. Oullom 

H. C. Burchard 





1869 70 

1869 70 


Thomas W. McNeely 
Albert G. Burr 

1869 70 

Samuel S. Marshall 

... 1869-70 

, 1869-70 
1869 70 

1869 70 

1871 72 

1871 73 


James C. Robinson 

. . . .1869 70 

Thomas W. McNeely 

Edward Y. Rice 


Robert M. Knapp 

James C. Robinson 

John B. McNulta 

Joseph G. Cannon 

John R. Eden 

James S. Martin 


...,1871 72 
....1871 72 

,. ,1873-74 
. . 1873-74 
1873 74 
. . . 1873 74 
1873 74. 

1871 72 

1871 72 

1871 72 

1871 72 


1873 74 

Charles B. Farwell 

. 1873 74 

Stephen A. Hurlbut 

Horatio C. Burchard 

John B. Hawley 

Franklin Corwin 

1873 74 

. . . 1873 74 

1873 74 

1873 74 



«r- -•-- 

-•'■-' a 



o ^ 

- « 










. . , 1873-74 

William H. Ray 

Thomas J. Henderson. . 










, 1875-76 





Richard H. Whiting . . . 














Thomas J. Henderson. . 





Richard W. Townshend — 


William M. Springer 













Thomas J. Henderson. . 
Philip C. Hayes 










, . , 1881-'82 


Thomas J. Henderson. . 


R. W. Townsbend 

. 1881-82 





» ■- 

■» a 




Ransom W. Dunham 1883-'84 

John P. Pinerty 1883-84 

George R. Davis 1883-'84 

George E. Adams 1883-'84 

Reuben Ellwood 1883-'84 

Pobert R. Hitt 1883-'84 

Thomas J. Henderson 1883-'84 

William Cullen 1883-'84 

Lewis E. Payson 1883-'84 

Nicholas E. Worthington 1883-84 

"William H. Neece 1883-'84 

James M. Riggs 1883-'84 

William M. Springer 1883-84 

Jonathan H. Rowell 1883-'84 

Joseph G. Cannon 1883-'84 

Aaron Shaw 1883-'84 

Samuel W. Moulton 1883-'84 

William R. Morrison 1883-'84 

Richard W. Townshend 1883-'84 

John R. Thomas 1883-'84 


Ransom W. Dunham l885-'86 

Francis Lawler 1885-'86 

J. H. Ward 1885-'86 

George E. Adams 1885- '86 

Reuben Ell wood 1885-'86 

Robert H. Hitt 1885-'86 

Thomas J. Henderson 1885-'86 

Ralph Plumb 1885-'86 

Lewis E. Payson 1885-'86 

Nicholas E. Worthington 1885-'86 

William H. Neece 1885-'86 

James M. Riggs 1885-'86 

William M. Springer 1885-'86 

Jonathan H. Rowell 1885-'86 

Joseph G. Cannon 1885-'86 

S. Z. Landes 1885-'86 

John R. Eden 1885-'86 

William R. Morrison 1885-'86 

Richard W. Townshend 1885-'86 

John R. Thomas 1885-'8G 

T. 4+ l\ 

T 43 N 




The Importance of Local History. — Scope of the Following 
Pages. — Geography of MoHenry County. — Original Area 
of the County. — Present Extent. — Climatic Features. — 
Topography. — Theories Concerning Prairies. — Water Courses 
of the County. — Geological Features. — Abundance of 
Drift Formation. — Limited Exposure of Silurian Rocks. — 
Clay and Peat. 

All history is essentially local. No record of events, however 
important, can make a vivid or lasting impression upon a reader's 
mind if the locality of the occurrences is not given due prominence. 
By association the scenes of great events become sanctified and 
endeared in the hearts of a people. Who, for instance, can gaze 
unmoved upon the house which was the home or the birthplace of 
an illustrious man ? Who can give expression to his emotions as 
he stands upon the ground where some decisive struggle for liberty 
took place ? 

Even the most prosiac places, even the simplest of every-day 
occurrences, are sometimes elevated beyond their natural condition, 
becoming illustrious and important on account of the memories 
which surround them. And even within the narrow limits of a 
county, events, perhaps of little moment in themselves, are con- 
stantly transpiring, which growing venerable through age become 
invested with peculiar interest and are rightfully worthy of perpet- 
ual remembrance. A small community has its place in history as 
well as a large one. Every intelligent and public-spirited citizen 
feels a degree of pride in the achievements, the industrial growth, 
the religious, social, and intellectual progress of his county. 

Thus it is that in almost every section of the Union efforts are 
now being made to perpetuate local history. No cause is more 


A, Q 


worthy of popular attention. Centuries hence, when a history of 
the American people shall be written, the historian will gather his 
data largely from the facts which are now being collected and put 
in preservable form. But the greatest importance of local history 
lies in the interest which we may expect posterity to entertain for 
it. The work of the pioneers — humble in its details yet magnifi- 
cent in its results; the first rudely built church or school-house; 
the founding of a village; the inception of an industry — each mark 
an epoch in the history of any locality. The nationality and charac- 
teristics of the early settlers; their lives, adventures and hardships; 
the part performed by them in civil, judicial or military affairs- 
all these are topics in which their descendants can never cease to 
have an interest. 

In the following pages it has been the writer's aim to treat npon 
the subjects above mentioned; also to embody an account of such 
events in the county's history as seemed worthy of record; to trace 
the growth of industries, wealth and population; in short, to pre- 
sent, in a fair and impartial manner, a history of McHenry County 
and its inhabitants. In order to preserve the names and the mem- 
ory of the heroic pioneers, and with a view toward giving honor to 
whom honor is due, considerable space has been given to biographi- 
cal matter, in which will be found much that is interesting and 

descriptive . 

McHenry County is situated in the northeastern part of the 
State of Illinois. Its boundaries are: The State of Wisconsin on 
the north; Lake County on the east, between McHenry County and 
Lake Michigan ; Kane and DeKalb counties on the south, and 
Boone County on the west. McHenry County was formed in 1836 
from a portion of Cook County and then included the territory 
which now constitutes the two counties, McHenry and Lake. The 
superficial area of McHenry County is 612 square miles; of Lake 
County, 394. 

The climate is characterized by severe cold in winter and fre- 
quent sudden changes. The heat of summer is rendered agreeable 
by refreshing breezes which blow almost constantly. The air is 
pure and bracing; the scenery, varied by lakes, streams, groves 
and prairies, is attractive and picturesque; there is abundance of 
pure water to be obtained from wells, streams and natural springs. 
Altogether, McHenry County offers to the summer tourist, or 




health-seeker, many enticing features, and in this respect is unex- 
celled by any portion of the State. 

The surface elevation very nearly approaches the highest in the 
State, a fact which further accounts for the wholesomeness and 
salubrity of the climate. The county is somewhat unequally di- 
vided into prairies and woodlands, the former being in the excess. 
Good timber is abundant, and the people are supplied at home with 
all that is required for fuel and fences as well as much that is suita- 
ble for building purposes. Timber is fully as abundant now as 
when the country was first settled, improvement having caused the 
prairie fires, with their attendant destruction of forests, to cease, 
while the use of wood has scarcely kept pace with its growth. The 
prairies, stretching their broad and grassy surface between tine 
groves, present an interesting natural phenomenon, and inasmuch 
as more than half of McHenry County is composed of them, the 
question of their origin cannot fail to interest the local reader. 
Much speculation has been made upon this subject, the results of 
which may be summed up in two distinct theories. 

The first theory presupposes that the soil of the prairies was 
formed by the decomposition of vegetable matter under water, with 
attendant conditions unfavorable to the growth of timber. Those 
who hold this theory maintain that prairies are even now forming 
along the rivers and the shores of lakes. River channels are con- 
stantly changing, by reason of freshets. The heaviest particles 
transported by the water fall nearest the channel, and here repeated 
deposits first cause banks to be elevated above the floods. Trees 
spring up on these natural levies, serving to strengthen them and 
render them permanent. When an overflow takes place these bar- 
riers keep the subsiding water from returning to the river bed ; and 
by frequent inundations the bottom-lands become sloughs or 
swamps. The water is usually shallow and stagnant, and is soon 
invaded by mosses and aquatic plants, which grow beneath the 
surface and contain in their fibers silica, alumina and lime, the 
constituents of clay. To these plants mollusks and other small 
aquatic animals attach themselves and find in them their sub- 
sistence. Hence a constant decomposition, both of animal and 
vegetable matter, ensues, and finally forms a stratum of clay, like 
that underlying prairies. 

The marshy bottoms are thus gradually built up to the surface 
of the water; vegetable growth becomes more- abundant,* rushes, 
reeds and coarse grasses being added to the other forms of plant 



life. These plants, rising above the water, absorb the carbonic 
acid gas of the air and convert it into woody fiber, which by 
decomposition first forms the clayey mold and afterward the black 
mold of the prairie. Such agencies, now operating in the ponds 
which skirt river-banks, originally formed all the prairies of the 
Mississippi Valley. According to geologists, the surface of the 
land was submerged toward the close of the drift period, and as it 
slowly emerged afterward, it was covered by extensive ponds of 
shallow water which finally became swamps, and then prairies. 
One remarkable feature about the prairies, namely, the absence 
of trees, is accounted for, first, by the formation of ulmic acid, 
which is favorable to the growth of plants, but retards that of 
trees; second, the roots of trees require air, which they cannot 
obtain when the surface is under water or covered by a compact 
sod; third, marshy flats offer no solid points to which the trees 
may attach themselves. But when the land becomes dry, and the 
sod-is broken by cultivation, almost all varieties of native woods 
grow and thrive upon the prairie. The uneven surface of some 
prairies is due to the erosive action of subsiding waters. The 
drainage, following the creeks and rivers, finally resulted in the 
formation of rolling prairies. 

The foregoing theory is based upon a large and constant water 
supply; another theory, which is accepted by many, assumes a 
very different aqueous condition in accounting for the prairies. It 
is a well-known fact in physical geography that the chief continents 
of the globe are generally surrounded by belts of timber, while 
further inland are areas of treeless tracts, and centrally, extensive 
deserts. On the eastern coast of North America, from the Gulf of 
Mexico to the Hudson Bay, as well as on the Pacific slope of the 
continent, timber grows thickly and spontaneously. These two 
zones of timber approach each other at the north and south, and 
within them lie the great prairies of the Mississippi Valley. Farther 
west are those arid regions which have caused them to be desig- 
nated as "The Great American Desert." Other portions of the 
earth have likewise their areas of forests, treeless lands and barrens. 
In Africa, the Sahara; in Europe, the Steppes; in Asia, the rainless 
wastes; in South America, the Atacama, all serve to illustrate that 
the operation of physical laws such as have caused the diversifica- 
tion of the United States has been general in all countries. 

Upon investigation it will be found that this alternation of 
woods, prairies and deserts corresponds with the variations in the 


amount of rain-tall. The ocean is the great source of moisture, and 
the clouds are the vehicles which transport it over the land. Act- 
ual investigation has proved that most of the water taken from the 
ocean in the form of vapor or clouds is discharged upon the rim 
of the continent; that the amount of rain is less farther toward the 
interior, until, finally, almost total aridity is found. Upon apply- 
ing this theory to the American continent it will be found that in 
going from New York to San Francisco the amount of rain-fall 
very nearly coincides with the alternations of woodland, prairie 
and desert. At New York the average annual rain-fall is forty-two 
inches; the region extending thence to Ann Arbor, Mich., where 
the annual rain-fall is twenty-nine inches, is well timbered; thence 
to Galesburg, 111., where the rain-fall is twenty-four inches, the 
country is prairie interspersed with occasional clumps of woodland; 
thence to Fort Laramie, having twenty inches rain-fall, the country 
rapidly changes to continuous prairie; thence to Fort Youina, hav- 
ing three inches, it becomes a desert; and thence to San Francisco, 
where the rain-fall is twenty-two inches, it changes to thick forests. 
Illinois lies within the region of alternate wood and prairie. 

Still further, some scientists maintain that the treeless tracts are 
due to the nature of the soil. It is highly probable that each of 
the forces named in these theories may have had something to do 
with the formation of the prairies. 

The surface of McHenry County is varied, consisting of prairies, 
both level and undulating, wooded ridges, and hills of considerable 
elevation. The configuration is such that artificial drainage is 
rendered comparatively easy, while nature has provided ample 
water-courses. The Fox Kiver, rising in Wisconsin, flows south, 
in Lake and McHenry counties, keeping near the county line. 
This is a noble stream, the largest in this section. It ultimately 
joins the Illinois River. The Fox Eiver enters McHenry County 
about eight miles from the Wisconsin State line, flowing out of 
Pistaqua Lake* in township 46, range 9 east; thence its course is 
in McHenry County until it reaches the line dividing townships 
43 and 44, where it crosses into Lake County. A little over two 
miles further south the river bends westward into McHenry 
County in which it continues until the southern line of the county 
is reached at Algonquin. The Nippersink, a tributary of the Fox, 
rises in McHenry County and traverses the northeastern part of 
the county. This county is also the source of the Kishwaukee 
*This lake lies in both counties, and is but an expansion of the river. 



River, its chief tributaries arising in the central and western part of 
the county. The stream flows westward into Rock Eiver. Other 
small streams are tributaries to those above named. 

Small lakes, or ponds, are quite abundant in this county. They 
vary in character, some being surrounded by a firm shore, others 
bordered by marshes and low, wet laud, thickly covered by 
grasses and weeds. Some of them have an extraordinary depth 
compared with their size. There are also numerous sloughs of 
varied extent. These wet prairies usually have a peaty soil of 
variable depth. 


The geological formations found in this county consist princi- 
pally of the drift. The bed-rock, which is rarely exposed, belongs 
chiefly to the Niagara group (Upper Silurian). Along the western 
border of the county, in a narrow strip running north and south, 
the underlying formation belongs to the Cincinnati group. The 
drift deposits, consisting of clay and hard-pan, with occasional beds 
of sand and gravel, and boulders frequently scattered throughout 
the mass, cover the whole surface of the county an average depth 
of at least seventy feet. The mighty agencies of nature at work 
during the glacial period ground away and transformed all of the 
original formations above the Silurian rocks, and buried these 
rocks themselves deep beneath a mass of debris of heterogeneous 

There are no good opportunities afforded for observing sections 
of the drift in the count}'. There being no natural exposures, ex- 
cavations for wells afford about the only data accessible, and- this 
is meager. "Wells are seldom sunk to a depth of over forty feet, 
and in that distance little is found except blue clay, or hard-pan, 
with an occasional pocket or irregular seam of quicksand or gravel. 
Boulders are found both upon the surface and in excavations. 
They are of varying size and of all sorts of material, such as granite, 
syenite, trap, greenstone, limestone and sandstone. Near the Fox 
River the ridges contain large quantities of rolled limestone 
boulders, evidently derived from the Niagara rocks of Wisconsin. 
The mass of the drift, however, appears to be clay and hard-pan, 
with occasional boulders. Logs of wood and other vegetable re- 
mains have frequently been found beneath the surface at distances 
of from fifteen to fifty feet. 

With the exception of the narrow belt along the western line of 







the county, already referred to as belonging to the Cincinnati 
group, the underlying formation probably belongs wholly to the 
Niagara group. The outcrops, however, are so few as to render 
absolute knowledge of the formation impossible. In the north- 
eastern corner of section 17, township 44, range 9, nearly on the 
county line between Lake and McHenry, the limestone is exposed 
in an excavation by the roadside. It is unstratified and contains 
no well-preserved fossils. At the Sand Hills on the Kishwaukee, 
in the southwest part of section 21, township 44, range 6, a bed of 
limestone was found in an excavation, fourteen feet below the sur- 
face. This, it is probable, belongs also to the Niagara group. 

The exposures of the Cincinnati formation are limited to one 
locality, about two miles east of Garden Prairie station, on the 
Galena division of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, about a 
quarter of a mile south of the main wagon-road between that 
station and Marengo. This rock has been quite extensively quar- 
ried here. It is a buff limestone, thinly bedded, and containing 
considerable chert in some parts of the quarry. Frequently it has 
a slight bluish tinge. Fossils are scarce and imperfect. 

The only extensive stone quarry in the county is that just men- 
tioned. The rock, being thin-bedded, and containing chert, is not 
calculated to serve all the purposes of a building stone, yet it be- 
comes very useful in foundations and for the rougher kinds of 
masonry. Along the Fox River the boulders found in the ridges 
have been quarried to some extent, and rough building material 
obtained therefrom. Lime has been burned from the limestone 
boulders in some places, but no extensive manufacture of it has 
been attempted. 

Good clay for brick-making is abundant. Its prevailing color, 
when burned, is red, or reddish-brown. At Woodstock and Mc- 
Henry, however, a white or straw-colored brick is made . The clay 
for the white brick is obtained at "Woodstock, under a peat bed, 
"and may," says Mr. Bannister, in the report of the State Geolo- 
gist, "possibly be a sedimentary formation more recent than the 
drift." That at McHenry he thinks belougs to the drift proper. 
At Woodstock the same clay used for making brick has been em- 
ployed with good results in the manufacture of drain tile. 

Peat is abundant throughout the county, but the most extensive 
deposits are in the northern half. It is found in the sloughs or 
bogs, in varying depths and of various qualities. Where it has 
been tested it has been found to serve well the purpose of fuel. It 




is estimated that there are 4,000 or 5,000 acres of sloughs contain- 
ing peat in the two counties of McHenry and Lake. We have not 
the estimate for McHenry alone. One of the largest of the sloughs 
is situated near Hebron station, in sections 7 and 8 of township 46, 
range 7. Thence, with some interruptions, the bed extends several 
miles in a southwest direction, to the JSTippersink, probably cover- 
ing an area equal to two or three square miles. The average 
depths, so far as examination has been made, appears to be from 
six to ten feet. Other sloughs vary in extent, few of them exceed- 
ing 200 or 300 acres, very generally so situated as to be capable of 
drainage, and thus made useful for pasturage. In these peat beds 
the county has an almost inexhaustible fuel supply, stored for 
future ages. Years hence its value and usefulness will doubtless 
be appreciated as it cannot, be at present while the more convenient 
wood-supply remains abundant. Peat has been used as fuel in 
Durfee's brick and drain tile works at Woodstock, and has proved 
very satisfactory. Nowhere else has it been used except experi- 

The foregoing facts relating to the geological features of the 
county are mainly condensed from State Geologist Worthen's 
"Economical Geology of Illinois," volume 2, chapter XVIIL, 
which chapter was written by H. M. Bannister. 


&-n?i*-4~Zr /$ , o^Uy 





Aboriginal Inhabitants of Northern Illinois. — Character- 
istics of the Different Tribes. — Indian Titles and Their 
Extinguishment. — Various Treaties. — Final Treaty at Chi- 
cago in 1833.— The Dawn of Civilization. — Gillilan, the 
First Settler in McHenry County, 1834. — Early Centers 
of Settlement. — Pioneer Life. — The Log Cabin. — Charac- 
teristics of the Pioneers. — An Early Settler's Reminis- 


The aboriginal inhabitants of Northern Illinois were of the 
Algonquin lineage. The Sacs and Foxes, famous in the history of 
the Indian warfare, dwelt in the northwest portion of the State. 
They came originally from the vicinity of Quebec and Montreal, 
being driven west by the Iroquois. The Foxes first removed west 
and established themselves on the river bearing their name which 
flows into the head of Green Bay. The Sacs being driven from 
their country in Canada, fled west and settled near their kindred, 
the Foxes. Both tribes being threatened, they formed an alliance 
for mutual protection; and by intermarriage and community of in- 
terest eventually became substantially one people. From Green 
Bay they moved southward, and about the time the French pio- 
neers visited the country occupied the northwestern portion of 
this State, having driven out the Sauteaux, a Chippewa people. 
They were afterward allied with the Pottawatomies and other na- 
tions, in conjunction with whom they forced the tribes of the 
Illinois confederacy south, almost exterminating them finally. 
In 1779, with the Menomonees, "Winnebagoes and other tribes 
living near the lakes, they attempted to destroy St. Louis, but were 
prevented by the opportune arrival of General George Rogers Clark 
with a force of 500 men. Finally, in the Black Hawk war, they at- 
tracted the attention of the whole country and won wide reputation. 
The Winnebagoes were another tribe inhabiting Northern Illi- 





nois. According to tradition, they anciently inhabited the western 
shores of Lake Michigan, north of Green Bay. Thence they ap- 
pear to have wandered southward, finally settling in Southern 
"Wisconsin, Northern Illinois and Eastern Iowa. "The Illinois 
portion," according to Davidson & Stuve's "History of Illinois," 
"occupied a section of country on Rock River, in the county which 
bears their name, and the country to the east of it. In Pontiac's 
war they, with other lake tribes, hovered about the beleaguered 
fortress of Detroit, and made the surrounding forests dismal with 
midnight revelry and war-whoops. English agents, however, suc- 
ceeded in mollifying their resentment, and when the new Ameri- 
can power arose, in 1776, they were subsequently arrayed on the 
side of the British authorities in regard to questions of local juris- 
diction at Prairie du Chien, Green Bay and Mackinaw. In the 
war of 1812 they remained the allies of England, and assisted in 
the defeat of Colonel Oroghan, at Mackinaw; Colonel Dudley, at 
the rapids of the Maumee; and General Winchester, at the River 
Raisin. In the Winnebago war of 1827, they defiantly placed 
themselves in antagonism to the authority of the General Govern- 
ment, by assaulting a steamboat on the Mississippi engaged in 
furnishing supplies to the military post on the St. Peters." 

The Pottawatomies were found by the early French explorers in 
habiting the country east of the southern extremity of Lake Michi- 
gan. Thence a portion of the tribe passed around the lake and 
occupied Northeastern Illinois. At Chicago, in 1812, they perpe- 
trated one of the most atrocious massacres known in the history of 
barbaric warfare. They removed west from Illinois, and found 
their way to the Indian Territory. During their residence in 
Northeastern Illinois, portions of the energetic and powerful Ottawa 
and Chippewa tribes lived with the Pottawatomies. 


By a treaty in 1804 the Sacs and Foxes ceded to the United 
States an extensive tract of land on both sides of the Mississippi 
River, on the east bank extending from the mouth to the source of 
the Illinois River and thence north to the Wisconsin River. In 
1816 that portion of this territory lying north of a line drawn west 
from the southern extremity of Lake Michigan was ceded back to 
the allied tribes — the Ottawas, Ohippewas and Pottawatomies. 
Out of this cession grew the Winnebago war, the tribe feeling 
aggrieved because it was not included in the treaty. The "war" 

-— «.Jv* 



was not of great magnitude, but it resulted in the complete humil- 
iation of the Winnebagoes and their abandonment of all claim to 
the land south of the Wisconsin River. This was in 1827. 

The Black Hawk war of 1831-'2, an account of which is given 
elsewhere, prepared the way for the extinguishment' of the last 
vestige of the Indian title to land in Northern Illinois, and opened 
an extensive region, rich in beauty and fertility, to the white 

Sept. 15, 1832, a treaty was concluded at Fort Armstrong whereby 
the "Winnebago nation ceded to the United States all their lands 
lying south and east of the Wisconsin River and the Fox River of 
Green Bay. The united nations, namely, the Chippewas, Otta- 
was and Pottawatomies, still retained their title to the land of 
Northeastern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, besides other ill 
defined lands in Indiana and Michigan. 

As there was already a considerable settlement at Chicago, 
which was growing rapidly, there was a general desire that all 
Indian titles to land in that vicinity be speedily extinguished. 
That this result might be secured peaceably, in September, 1833, 
a grand council of chiefs and leading men of the tribes was called 
to meet at Chicago. The Government Commissioners, G. B. Por- 
ter, Thomas J. V. Owen and William Weatherfield, were present, 
and on the 26th of September, a treaty was signed, which was rati- 
fied by the Senate May 22, 1834. Article 1 ceded all land of the 
united nations "along the west shore of Lake Michigan and 
between this lake and the land ceded to the United States by the 
Winnebago nation by the treaty at Fort Armstrong, made Sept. 
15, 1832; bounded on the north by the country lately ceded by the 
Menominees, and on the south by the country ceded at the treaty 
of Prairie du Chien, made July 29, 1829, supposed to contain 
5,000,000 acres." 

This cession completely extinguished all title to land owned or 
claimed by the united nations east of the Mississippi. In return 
for it the Indians were given a reservation of 5,000,000 acres on 
the east bank of the Missouri River. The treaty further stipulated 
that the Indians should be allowed to remain in the country ceded 
by them until August, 1836, when they were obliged to remove 
beyond the Mississippi. 


There is no possible means of ascertaining the name of the first 



white man who set foot upon the soil of McHenry County. It is 
not at all improbable, however, that some of the French explorers 
visited this part of the present State of Illinois while the red man 
yet held undisputed sway over it. It is likewise probable that 
early Indian traders visited the Fox River in this county and used 
it for canoe traffic. But in the absence of direct evidence, specula- 
tion is idle. 

By a law of Congress settlers were forbidden to occupy the 
newly ceded Indian fanda before the year 1836. This provision of 
the law, like most others of a similar nature, did not result in 
actual prohibition. A few bold pioneers, anxious to test the 
quality of the soil of the new country, longing for the wild free- 
dom of life on the broad prairies, pushed their way into the region 
west of Lake Michigan, and the year 1835 witnessed the advent of 
several white settlers to the present counties of McHenry and Lake. 
The first white settler in McHenry County located in what is 
now the town of Algonquin, in November, 1834. His name was 
James Gillilan, and he came from West Virginia with his wife and 
family, settling here at the time mentioned. Mrs. Gillilan was the 
first white woman in the county. 

Two principal settlements were founded in 1835— the "Virginia 
settlement," so called because the majority of the early settlers in 
that neighborhood were Virginians; and the "Pleasant Grove'' 
settlement, now known as Marengo and vicinity. The Virginia 
settlement was principally in the eastern part of the present town 
of Dorr, where the following persons settled in 1835: James 
Dufield, Christopher Walkup, John Walkup, Josiah Walkup, 
Win. Hartman, John Gibson, John McClure and Samuel Gillilan. 
The settlers of 1835 in the Pleasant Grove neighborhood were 
Oliver Chatfield, Calvin Spencer, A. B. Coon, Porter Chatfield, 
Russel Diggins,|Richard Simpkins and Moody B. Bailey. 

In the northern part of the county no settlements were made 
before 1836, Josiah H. Giddings being one of the earliest in that 

With the year 1836 there was quite an influx of population. At 
the time of the first election, in 1837, the population of the county 
was estimated at 500, of whom probably more than 300 lived 
within the present limits of Lake County. The census of 1840 
showed that McHenry County had a population of 2,578. Lake 
County had been formed the year previous. 

The early settlers came chiefly from New York, Virginia and 



New England. An English settlement was founded early in the 
northeastern part of the county. Hartland was settled principally 
by Irish Catholics. Later, a large number of German settlers 
came to the county. For further details respecting settlement 
the reader is referred to the township histories. 


The life of the pioneer is humble yet glorious. He prepares the 
way for advancing civilization, endures poverty and hardship, toils 
without recompense, that his posterity may enjoy the full fruition 
of his labors. He is the adventurer in fields untried, the path- 
finder, the discoverer, the advance agent leading others to a land 
of promise. In all ages and countries he has been honored and 
remembered on account of his self-sacrificing labor. 

Pioneer life in McHenry County finds its almost exact counter- 
part in every part of the West. When the first settlers arrived 
here, they found a fair and beautiful region, but just left by the 
aboriginal inhabitants. Forests were to be felled, prairies broken, 
cabins built, mills, school-houses, churches, roads — the labor of a 
lifetime rose before them. But were these bold spirits dismayed ? 
Not they ! They had journeyed from their far distant homes, 
through a rough country, over bad roads, rivers, swamps and 
marshes, passing nights with no shelter above them, and toiling 
forward by day, meeting new obstacles ever and anon. Now they 
had reached the land for which they had started, and fair and 
pleasant was the prospect. 

In McHenry County the settlement is of so recent date that al- 
most every one is familiar with pioneer ways either from actual 
experience or from hearsay. Nevertheless, for the benefit of pos- 
terity, who may be interested in knowing what was the real 
nature of pioneer life and the character of the work of the early 
settlers, we devote a portion of this chapter to a description of 
primitive manners, customs and labor. 

Such has been the change since the days of our fathers and 
grandfathers in this State, it is almost as though a new race of 
beings had come into possession of the land. Clothing, diet, 
dwellings, social customs, individual habits, have all been trans- 
formed. Old wavs are not our ways; but they were good ways, 
and served their purpose admirably, and the memory of them is 
full of tender interest to us. The earliest settlers, upon their arri- 
val, constructed hastily what they called "three-faced camps:" 




that is, buildings with three walls, and the front open. These 
camps were usually about seven feet high, without floors, and 
roofed with poles upon which bark or shingles lay, held in place 
by weight-poles. No windows, doors or chimneys were needed in 
these dwellings, which were not built for temporary residences, 
but usually merely to serve as shelter while the cabin was bein^ 

The cabin of round logs was a material advance upon the camp. 
The interstices between the logs were filled with chips, or sticks, 
then daubed abundantly with clay mortar. A log "house" — in 
distinction from a cabin — was constructed of hewed logs, and was 
the prevailing style of residence for rich and poor. The building 
was often without a floor, but more commonly one was built of 
"puncheons," or split logs, made smooth as possible on one side 
by the adze or the ax. The roof was covered with long shingles, 
or "shakes," held in place by weight-poles. For a fire-place, a 
space about six feet long was cut out of the logs at one end of the 
room, and three sides were built up with logs, making an offset in 
the wall. This was lined with stone when convenient, and plenti- 
fully daubed with clay. The chimney was built of small split 
sticks, plastered together with clay, and rose but little above the 

A space for a doorway was cut in one side of the cabin, and in 
it was hung a door made of split shingles or puncheons, fastened 
together with cleats and wooden pins. The hinges were also of 
wood, and the latch. The latch-string was of leather, extending 
through a hole a few inches above the latch, to the outside, so that 
a pull lifted the latch from the catch enabling the door to open. 
It was only necessary for those inside to pull the latch-string in to 
lock the door securely against all comers. 

The living-room was of good size, as it ought to be — for it was 
parlor, dining-room, sitting-room, kitchen, pantry and bed-room, 
all in one. The rafters were usually adorned with flitches of bacon 
or festoons of dried pumpkins. In one corner of the apartment 
were seen the loom and, perhaps, the spinning wheel, while the 
kitchen utensils were grouped about the ample fire-place. One 
side of the room was devoted to the family wardrobe, which hung 
suspended from pegs driven into the wall. 

The trusty rifle usually hung over the door, and near it the 
powder-horn and hunting-pouch. Well-to-do families had a spare 
room for guests — that is, a space in the loft of sufficient size to 



contain a bed, besides serving usually the purposes of a lumber- 
room. The loft was reached by a ladder from the main room. 
Sleeping apartments were sometimes separated from the sitting- 
room by partitions made by suspending quilts, coverlets or sheets 
from the upper floor. 

This mode of living was not so irksome as might be sup- 
posed. People soon became accustomed, to it, and patiently put 
up with it until their means had increased sufficiently to enable 
them to enlarge their domicile by a lean-to, or, better yet, to 
construct a double log cabin — a happy distinction to which only 
the wealthy could attain. The furniture of the cabin was as primi- 
tive as the house itself. Bedsteads, chairs and tables were of home 
manufacture, and the makers were not always skilled workmen. 
The articles used in the kitchen were few and simple : a " Dutch 
oven," a skillet, or long-handled frying pan, an iron pot or kettle, 
and sometimes a coffee-pot were all that the best furnished kitchen 
contained. When a stone-wall formed the base of the fire-place a 
long iron crane on which, attached to a pot-hook, hung a large pot 
or kettle, was one of the indispensable features. The style of 
cooking was necessarily simple, as all of it had to be done at the 
fire-place and in the fire. Corn meal, cooked in various forms, 
such as "mush," " Johnnycake," "hoe-cake" and "pone," was 
one of the staple articles of diet. The " pone" and "corn-dodger" 
were cooked in the Dutch oven, set upon a bed of glowing coals. 
The oven being filled with dough, the cover, already heated, on the 
fire, was placed over it and covered with hot embers. After the 
bread was cooked, it was taken from the oven and placed near the 
fire to keep it warm, while the oven was again pressed into use in 
the preparation of some other article of food. The " hoe-cake" was 
cooked upon a board or fiat stone placed in front of the fire, a 
thick dough of meal and water having first been prepared. Cooked 
pumpkin was sometimes added to the dough to give it richness 
and flavor. Venison or hani was fried in the Dutch oven. Hominy 
or hulled corn was often added to the frugal meal. Wild honey 
was found in abundance; game was plenty, and although flour was 
at first scarce, the pioneer's bill of fare was usually a good one, 
containing a plenty, if not a variety, of good wholesome food, well 

The pioneers were true-hearted and hospitable. Strangers were 
never denied shelter or food, though often the family were much dis- 
commoded by furnishing such entertainment. The early settlers of 



McHenry County were mainly from the older States of the Union 

New York, the New England States and Virginia— though there 

were some English and Irish. They were generally poor, and un- 
derstanding the hardships and disadvantages of poverty themselves, 
they sympathized with, and aided the more readily, those whom 
they found in need of assistance. Selfishness was not in their nat- 
ure. They were bold, brave, free-hearted, and led usefal and up- 
rightlives. Of course there were exceptions — now and then a self- 
ish man, and once in a great while a rascal — but the great body of 
the early settlers was composed of men fearless in the right, hon- 
est, generous, truthful, and independent even though they were 
poor. Their situation was one calculated to beget feelings of friend- 
liness and helpfulness. They were all situated alike; all had left 
the associations and the friends of other days, and were seeking 
the accomplishment of a difficult task. There was no room for 
idlers, but newcomers were looked upon as helpers, and the watch- 
word appeared to be, " The more the merrier." Says an early 
writer: "Men must cleave to their kind and must be dependent 
upon each other. Pride and jealousy give way to the natural 
yearnings of the human heart for society. They begin to rub off 
the neutral prejudices; one takes a step and then the other; they 
meet half way and embrace, and the society thus newly organized 
and constituted is more liberal, enlarged, unprejudiced, and of 
course more affectionate than a society of people of like birth and 
character who bring all their early prejudices as a common stock 
to be transmitted as an inheritance to posterity. 

The life of toil and hardship was one well calculated to develop 
a strong character and a self-reliant, trustful spirit. Many men of 
eminence have risen from humble homes; have studied by the fire- 
light, or in the old-fashioned log school-house, and become distin- 
guished far above those reared in homes of luxury and schooled in 
affluence. The best citizens of McHenry County to-day are those 
who have cleared the forests and subdued the prairies, or the de- 
scendants of these early settlers. The boys in early times were 
early taught to put their hands to every kind of farm work; they 
plowed and grubbed; pulled flax, broke and " hackled" it; wore tow 
shirts, coon skin caps; picked and carded wool; and "spooled" and 
carded wool. f The girls were taught to make and mend their own 
clothes; to cook, wash and scrub; to lend a hand in the harvest field 
if necessary. They were not injured by the exercise. It gave 

->C==^" - - — -^— — -~-bK' 

\\ Q - - :•■ £_. 


them strength and muscle, and fitted them for useful wives and 

Such industry, coupled necessarily with energy and frugality, 
brought its own certain reward. The men grew prematurely old 
while sustaining their burdens, but they saw the forests pass away 
and beautiful fields of grain take their place. Marvelous indeed 
has been the change wrought in a half century. Many an aged pi- 
oneer, as he sits in his easy chair and overlooks the past, involun- 
tarily exclaims, "Is it possible that all these things have been 
wrought by the hand of man within the space of one life-time?" 

The voice of Nature's very self drops low, 

As though she whispered of the long ago, 

When down the wandering stream the rude canoe 

Of some lone trapper glided into view 

And loitered down the watery path that led 

Thro' forest depths that only knew the tread 

Of savage beasts and wild barbarians 

That skulked about with blood upon their hands 

And murder in their hearts. The light of day 

Might barely pierce the gloominess that lay 

Like some dark pall across the waters face 

And folded all the land in its embrace. 

The panther's screaming and the bear's low growl, 

The snake's sharp rattle and the wolfs wild howl, 

The owl's grim chuckle, as it rose and fell 

In alternation with the Indian's yell, 

Made fitting prelude for the gory plays 

That were enacted in the early days. 

Now, o'er the vision, like a mirage, falls 
The old log cabin with its dingy walls 
And crippled chimney, with the crutch-like prop 
Beneath, a sagging shoulder on the top. 
The 'coon-skin, .battened fast on either side ; 
The whisps of leaf tobacco, cut and dried ; 
The yellow strands of quartered apples hung 
In rich festoons, that tangle in among 
The morning glory vines that clamber o'er 
The little clapboard roof above the door ; 
Again through mists of memory rise 
The simple scenes of home before the eyes ; 
The happy mother, humming with her wheel, 
The dear old melodies that used to steal 
So drowsily upon the summer air ; 
The house-dog hid his bone, forgot his care 
And nestled at her feet, to dream, perchance, 
Some cooling dream of winter-time romance. 
The square of sunshine through the open door 

^71 s ■- -» — 

- — »k 


That notched its edge across the puncheon floor, 

And made a golden coverlet, whereon 

The god of slumber had a picture drawn 

Of babyhood, in all the loveliness 

Of dimpled cheek and limb and linsey dress ; 

The bough-filled fire-place and the mantel wide, 

Its fire-scorched ankles stretched on either side, 

Where, perchance, upon its shoulders neath the joists 

The old clock hiccoughed, harsh and husky-voiced ; 

Tomatoes, red and yellow, in a row, 

Preserved not then for diet, but for show; 

The jars of jelly, with their dainty tops ; 

Bunches of penny-royal and cordial drops ; 

The flask of camphor and vial of squills, 

The box of buttons, garden seeds and pills. 

And thus the pioneer and helpsome, aged wife 

Reflectively review the scenes of early life." 

The clothing of the early settlers was simple, being usually 
entirely of home manufacture. The supply brought with the 
family into the new country was made to serve until flax could be 
raised from which to make more. It was with difficulty that sheep 
could be kept, owing to the prairie wolves; but after sheep had 
been introduced and flax and hemp raised in sufficient quantities, 
it still remained a difficult task for the women of the household to 
make cloth and fashion clothing for the entire family. Flannel 
and linsey were woven and made into garments for women and 
children, and jeans for the men. The wool was usually colored 
with walnut or some other kind of bark; or else black and white 
wool mixed made "pepper and salt" cloth. Every household was 
a factory in which every branch of clothing manufacture was carried 
on — carding, spinning, weaving, cutting and sewing. Before card- 
ing machines were introduced all the wool used was carded by 
hand on cards about four inches wide and eight or ten inches long. 
Flax, after being dried, broken and "scutched," was spun on a 
small wheel, worked by a treadle, such as may now be seen once 
in a while among the lumber of an ancient garret. Tow and linen 
cloth was worked into shirts and dresses, or pantaloons for summer 
wear. Tow, the coarse part of flax, formed the filling of the cloth, 
the strong linen threads being the warp. A tow and linen shirt 
was not a thing of beauty, and it had a tendency to irritate the 
skin, but the boys of that day were satisfied with it. The follow- 
ing is a graphic description of preparation for the winter in a 
pioneer's household : 

" The preparations for the family clothing usually began in 




the early fall, and the work was continued on into the winter 
months, when the whir of the wheels and the regular stroke of 
the loom could be heard until a late hour of the night. No scene 
can well be imagined more abounding in contentment and domes- 
tic happiness. Strips of bark of the shell-bark hickory, thrown 
from time to time into the ample fire-place, cast a ruddy, flickering 
light over the room. In one corner, within range of the reflected 
light, the father cobbling a well-worn pair of shoes, or trying his 
skill at making new ones. Hard by, the young ones are shelling 
corn for the next grist. The oldest daughter whirls the large spin- 
ning-wheel, and with its hum and whir trips to the far side of the 
room, drawing out the thread, while the mother, with the click of 
the shuttle and the measured thump of the loom, fills up the hours. 
The whole is a scene of domestic industry and happiness rarely to 
be found elsewhere." 

Shoes were one of the most expensive of necessary articles. 
Boots were then unknown. Shoes were used sparingly. A pair 
must be made to last a year, and longer, if possible. Men and 
women, boys and girls, all went barefooted in the summer months 
to save shoe leather. The shoemaker and the blacksmith were in- 
dispensable members of society in every settlement, and found 
enougli work to keep themselves well employed. Every pioneer 
at times was obliged to be a jack at all trades, though by no means 
a successful worker in all. Happy the man 'whose native inge- 
nuity enabled him to turn his hand to shoemaking, blacksmithing, 
coopering, carpentering, cabinet-making or masonry, as occasion 
required! He at least was certain to have the best of imple- 
ments and furniture for his own use; and he was also able to 
assist many of his less skillful neighbors. 

Tinware was too expensive to form much of the household sup- 
ply of dishes. Instead of it plates or trenchers and bowls of wood 
were used. Even knives and spoons for table use were fashioned 
of wood. Troughs or "gums" were made to serve the purposes 
of tubs, pails, etc. The "gums" were obtained in various sizes by 
cutting lengths from hollow trees and providing them with bot- 
toms of bark or puncheons, or blocks of wood. "A sugar trough 
for a cradle" is no fiction of the imagination ; many a child has 
been cradled in that fashion, and has grown to a strong and vigor- 
ous maturity. 

In a new and sparsely settled region, works of importance re- 
quire the united labor of all the settlers within a radius of several 


< T 


miles. To hew the logs for a cabin, raise them into position, and 
fit the dwelling for inhabitants requires the labor of all the men 
and boys in a settlement. Raisings were grand events. Every- 
body far and near was invited and everybody came that could, for 
they knew a raising meant a good time. To be sure there was 
hard work, but the presence of many and the good natured strife to 
out do one another made it seem like pastime. The process of 
erecting a log house has been described as follows : 

"Neio'hbors for miles around were there to lend a friendly lift. 
One of the party was appointed captain, whose business it was to 
direct the work of the day. He was generally a man of strong 
character and commanding presence, one whose word was law, and 
yet whose directions were without the semblance of command. A 
jug of rum or home-made whisky was always 'on tap,' and con- 
tributed its strength to the spirit of the day. First, the ground 
was cleared. The trunks of large, straight-grained trees were split 
into clapboards for the roof or puncheons for the floor. Smaller 
trees were cut down and logs of suitable length prepared for the 
walls of the cabin. Flat stones were placed at each corner for the 
foundation, on which two heavy logs were adjusted, one at each 
side of the building. These were notched at distances of about 
four feet, and straight poles laid across to serve as joists or sleepers 
for the puncheon floor. A skilled axman then took his place at 
each corner, and as log after log for the walls tumbled into place it 
was notched near the ends so that the next, crossing at right angles, 
would rest more firmly. Thus, log by log, the cabin was raised to 
the height of about eight feet; another row of joists was then 
placed across for the upper floor. One or two logs more and then 
the gable was commenced, which was built up of smaller timber, 
secured by poles running the whole length of the building at inter- 
vals of about three feet. On these clapboards four feet long were 
laid in such a way as to make a tight roof." 

Most of the early settlers learned to fear and dread the fever 
and a<me. In case they were fortunate enough to escape it one 
season, they were in trepidation lest the next year should bring it 
to them. The ague or "shakes" is a disease peculiar to new 
countries and to malarious districts. It is caused by impurities in 
the air and water. It is not contagious, but is sure to result from 
the upturning of a rich, rank soil for the first time. The patient 
breathes in the impurities from day to day until his whole system 
is impregnated with them. Then, with electric force, the shock 

I 19 


comes, returning at regular intervals to renew its attack. After 
the shock comes the fever, a burning, enervating, indescribable 
fever that leaves the patient thoroughly miserable. Of all forms of 
illness, chills and fever, or fever and ague, is one of the most pain- 
ful and tormenting. 

For amusement, the early settlers had raisings, log-rollings, bee- 
hunts, wolf-hunts, and other diversions. "Wrestling matches, and 
sometimes fights, were also regarded as amusements; and the man 
who was agile and strong enough to be the champion wrestler of a 
neighborhood was regarded as a very fortunate individual. The 
game of ball was played by men and boys with skill and dex- 
terity. It was not the modern game of " base ball," with such 
rules as none but a skilled " professional" can understand; but, in- 
stead, " round ball," "three-year-old cat," "four-year-old cat" and 
other games, with few rules and restrictions, yet requiring agility 
and muscle in a successful player. As the settlements grew and 
took on the ways of civilization, there were singing schools, spell- 
ing-schools, writing-schools, parties and "bees" of various kinds, 
where good-natured merriment and hearty fun were always dis- 
covered by the young people in attendance. 

Agricultural labor was performed at a disadvantage on account 
of the crude implements in use. Hoes, spades, shovels, etc., were 
generally such as a blacksmith — and not always a skillful one — could 
fashion. Plows were far inferior to the smooth, cast-steel, light-run- 
ning instruments of to-day. Corn was planted by hand ; grain drills, 
reapers and mowers were for long years articles entirely unknown 
to the "Western farmer. Wheat and other grains were sowed by 
hand, and covered with earth by dragging a wooden-toothed harrow 
across the land, smoothing off the surface finally by dragging a 
heavy brush across the field. The grain was cut with the cradle, 
and thrashed either with a flail or trampled out by horses. Fan- 
ning-mills were very useful; and it occasionally happened that 
there was but one such mill in a neighborhood, when it would be 
moved from place to place and in constant demand. Those who 
were not able to obtain the use of a fanning-mill were obliged to 
winnow their grain by the aid of the wind. 

The want of mills for grinding grain and corn was at first a 
serious inconvenience to the people of McHenry County. Journeys 
of forty and even of sixty miles, through woods and across prairies, 
had to be undertaken by those who wished to obtain a grist. But 
the settlement increased rapidly and this state of affairs did not 



long continue, the county being soon supplied with useful little 
mills run by water-power. They ground slowly and not always 
"exceeding fine," but they were more serviceable than the hand- 
mill, the horse grist-mill, or the mortar and pestle which had bee n 
used largely hitherto. 

Pioneer life was free from conventional politeness, yet rich in 
true politeness. Morals were good if manners were rough. There 
were no neighborhood quarrels; no gossiping and slander; there 
was also . toleration of various religious opinions. Almost every 
shade of religion was represented, and all dwelt harmoniously to- 
gether — perhaps for the reason that there were no churches, church 
quarrels were impossible. But from whatever cause, pioneer society 
was as good an example of " brethren dwelling together in unity" 
as we are ever likely to find in this busy and selfish world. 


Extracts from an oration delivered before the Old Settlers' Asso- 
ciation of McHenry and Lake counties at McHenry on the 8th of 
September, 1869, by Hon. George G-age: 

Mr. President and Felt.ow-oitizens: — We are assembled to-day 
for the first time, as an organized association of old settlers of Mc- 
Henry and Lake counties; and probably, for some of us, the last 
time, to exchange friendly greetings with each other once again 
before taking our final departure from this beautiful land of ours 
that is endeared to us by all the sacred memories of the past, for 
that undiscovered country beyond the tomb, from whose bourne it 
is said no traveler ever returns and unto which we are all so rap- 
idly hastening. 

After a residence of thirty-five years in this county, during which 
time the waves of adversity have beaten heavily against our frail 
bark of life, many times wrecking our dearest hopes of life upon a 
dark sea of uncertainty and doubt, it affords us untold satisfaction 
to meet so many of our old friends here upon this occasion, and un- 
der circumstances of so favorable a nature — circumstances which 
arouse every latent energy of the soul and inspire the most pro- 
found emotions of the heart. I see around me here to-day men 
and women whose faces were familiar in former years, gathered to- 
gether from the different States of the Union, from the East and 
from the "West, from the North and from the South, to grasp the 
friendly hand again. One lady, in particular, one of the oldest 
settlers of the town of McHenry, has left her home upon the Pa- 

^— _ Z^J 




cific coast, over 3,000 miles distant, lias scaled the Sierra Nevada 
and Rocky mountains, and crossed the great American Desert to 
join in our festivities. 

I also see around me men and women venerable with age, p pass- 
ing down the declivity of life with that quiet, unpretending 
demeanor which characterizes a life of labor, of purity and use- 
fulness, a conscience void of offence and which dignifies old age, — 
who have lain the foundation for all the present and future pros- 
perity and happiness of this country. Here nearly thirty-five years 
ago we commenced this journey of life together. Animated by the 
alluring promises of youth and the rich prospects spread out around 
us, we have struggled on through storm and tempest, through 
summer's heat and winter's cold, sunless hours and clouded sky, 
until the vitalizing forces of youth are far spent, the realities of 
life are nearly past, and the grand, culminating reward is summed 
up in our children and our children's children around us. 

No country ever inspired higher hopes and expectations than 
this, and few ever proved more deceptive and illusory. Disap- 
pointment heaped upon disappointment, loss upon loss, failure 
upon failure, has been the rule and not the exception in our strug- 
gle here against contending forces. Still no more inviting pros- 
pect was ever held out to mortal vision than 'this country presented 
in its native purity, with its rich, rolling prairies, before the hand 
of civilization had ever marred its original symmetry and beauty. 

1 wish to go back with you to-day to our starting point in life 
here and trace our footprints along the winding way which brings 
us to our present position. And first I wish to introduce a prairie 
view, a view of the country as we found it — a prairie 

" Whose rolling surface far exceeds our gaze 
Where herds run wild and wander as they graze." 

These groves of timber in the distance, which seem to skirt the 
horizon, mark the line of some water course or lake which serves 
to protect them against the annual desolating scourge, the prairie 
fire. Those spanceled Indian ponies, quietly feeding by yonder 
grove, admonish us of the presence of a race of men who have been 
the terror of the frontier settlements in all ages of our country. 
The " prairie schooner " dragging its slow length along; the buck 
and the doe bounding lightly away over the lawn; the rich flowery 
carpet spread out under our feet; the grand, rolling prairie extend- 


. 4*- - 


ing in the distance — all are scenes which increase in interest as we 
gaze back upon them through the long vista of intervening years. 
This little bird that flies screeching and screaming around us, 
known as a " prairie jack," with his long pipe-stem bill, sends his 
sharp, shrill voice far echoing over the prairie. The sand-hill crane 
in yonder marsh catches the echo, and tunes her throat to the mel- 
ody her mother taught; her mate takes up the glad refrain, re- 
sponds in perfect time and harmony, and while they dance and sing 

" A deeper melody 
Is poured by other birds, as o'er their callow young 
Watchful they hover. To the breeze is flung, 

Gladsome, yet not of glee, 
A heart-born music, such as mothers sing 
Above their cradled infants' slumbering. 

" The overarching sky 
Puts on a softer tint, a lovelier hue, 
As if the golden glory melted through 

The sapphire walls on high ; 
And with the sunshine folded on the breast 
Float the white clouds, like zephyrs, to the West." 

Such is a faint outline of the picture as mirrored from memory's 
chart to-day. Well might one exclaim like the companion of our 
venerable friend as his eye caught, for the first time, a view of our 
broad, rolling prairies: "My God, Bartlett, is that country just as 
God left it?" " I don't know," says Charles; ' ' It was just so when 
I came here." 

Now again, as we look over the country, upon the spot where 
the painted savage, the prowling wolf and the timid deer have been 
wont to roam unmolested, " a humble cottage marks a happy 
home." The quiet farmer with his plow has commenced a war of 
extermination against the prairie flowers and grasses. Civilization, 
which, like the Star of Empire, westward takes its way, in its grand 
progressive march has established a permanent residence here, 
carrying destruction to all the lower orders of animated nature, to 
make room for a higher, more perfect development of the vegetable, 
animal and intellectual kingdoms. * * * I have said that for some 
of us this is the last old settlers' convention we shall ever attend. 
* * * These facts admonish us that we are fast passing away and 
each succeeding year decimates our number and will continue to 
do so until the last one of us shall wait for the Angel of Death to 
roll back the door and show us those we love. In view of these 

7 s — -" ~"* — sV 



truths let us not approach the Eternal Gates with fear and trem- 
bling, but rather 

'■ Let ua hope for the future, when Death shall relieve us 
And open the portals above to sight, 
When those gone before us with joy shall receive ua 
And welcome us home to the mansions of light." 

Notwithstanding the fact that this country presented the most 
cheering prospects in oar beginning here, with its rich alluvial 
soil spread out in unlimited extent, we were all doomed to bitter 
disappointment. Bright visions of golden harvests have loomed 
up before us only to be swept away in a single hour. Prairie fires 
have swept over the country like a flaming tornado leaving all a 
blackened mass of ruins in their path, and always finding victims 
among the farmers. Fences, hay, grain and buildings have fallen 
before the devouring element. The swarming blackbirds, like the 
locusts of Egypt, have been the terror of farmers in early times. 
They would first ruin our harvests and then add insult to injury by 
chanting their funeral dirge amid the green branches of the forest, 
while they laughed at our calamity and mocked when our fear 
cam . The malaria arising from the newly turned prairies has 
caused us to burn with fever and freeze with ague. We struggled 
year after year against fire, blackbirds, vermin and disease, until 
we began to realize fine harvests, and then we had no markets. 

We came to this county poor in everything but strong constitu- 
tions, generous impulses and voracious appetites. We had our 
land to buy; our fences, barns, sheds, houses, school-houses, roads 
and bridges to build; our horses, cattle, hogs and sheep to buy or 
raise; our farming tools and household furniture to purchase. 
Money was sometimes borrowed at ruinous rates of interest, and as 
a consequence some have lost their farms, others their health, and 
some in the struggle have lost their lives. 

In our primitive style of living the most fashionable~dwellings 
were log shanties with "shake" roofs and puncheon floors. Our 
furniture was improvised out of such material as the country af- 
forded and manufactured with a farmer's "kit," which was gener- 
ally an ax, a hammer, a draw-knife and an auger. 

We suffered much inconvenience for many years for want of 
proper farming implements, but most of all for a good crossing 
plow. Ren wick and Gifford manufactured the first I ever saw, at 
Elgin, in 1844. * * * As we look back over the country to- 
day, behold how changed! Shanties have given place to capacious 




dwellings, constructed with all the convenience and elegance of 
the most approved style of modern architecture. The rude habi- 
tations of the past exist only in the memory as among the things 
that were. It seems more like a dream than a reality that these 
changes have been wrought in our generation. The oldest set- 
tlements on the continent furnish no more of the comforts and 
luxuries of life than are now enjoyed by all the country around us. 

The first settlers of this county were composed of two 
classes: The one was the claso that floats along on the tide of 
emigration for the purpose of plunder, and the other came here to 
secure homes and an honorable living. The former class soon 
floated away and left the country clear of the desperadoes for which 
some of the western counties in this State were noted in early his- 
tory. The latter class, who may now be considered as the only act- 
ual settlers, were emigrants from different States of the Union and 
provinces of Europe. 

There was a glorious hospitality among the early settlers which 
we do not see to-day. "With all your abundance, a meal of victuals 
is not now given as readily and freely to a hungry traveler as it 
was when you had to divide the last loaf to beBtow it. You are 
not as whole-souled, benevolent, and philanthropic as you were. 
Your purest and noblest affections are dried up; your hearts are 
dead to the generous impulses of former days; are not overflowing 
with kind words, and thoughts beaming from the eye, speaking 
from the tongue, radiating from the genial hues of the counte- 
nance, as in the days of yore. "Why is this? "Why is it that in 
proportion as our necessities decrease and as old age comes creep- 
ing on, the desire for wealth and influence increases and a more 
penurious spirit crowds out the nobler impulses of our nature? It 
is this: Ever since we began to accumulate property it has re- 
quired constant care and watchfulness to guard it. The world seems 
to be swarming with people who are trying to get something for 
nothing, and that something must come out of those who earn it. 
It is becoming second nature in us to guard against its being 
filched from our hard earnings. Should we not rather try and 
guard against the other extreme to which the force of such circum- 
stances tends to drive us? Better be poor, noble and generous than 
rich, acid and seclusive. 

Now for a moment I wish to take a broader, more comprehensive 
view of the situation. This country which seems to have sprung 
up, as it were, out of the depths of the seas, extending from the At- 

ZZ T" __4=Ll£^ 


lantic to the Pacific, from the great lakes on the north to the broad 
gulf on the south, with its giant mountain ranges, its majestic riv- 
ers, its fertile hills and verdant plains, seems to have been the 
chosen spot of all others on God's green earth for the highest and 
most perfect development of the human intellect. With a Gov- 
ernment based upon the principles of equal and exact justice to all 
mankind, recognizing the principle of human equality before the 
law, extending its protecting arm alike around and over all, with 
freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, 
stirring up, agitating, purifying the stagnant pools of the dead 
past, America is fast advancing the sciences and arts, and is to-day 
the guiding star, the light and the hope of the world. Our rail- 
roads and telegraphs, our steamboats and steam printing presses, 
are scintillating light all over the world, over the Atlantic and 
through it, over mountains, hills and plains to all parts of the hab- 
itable globe. 

These wonderful and marvelous inventions together with the 
thousands of others that aid the farmer and the mechanic in their 
daily labors are the results of American science and industry and 
the product of the age in which we live. These are the offspring 
of American institutions, freed from the spirit of bigotry, supersti- 
tion and intolerance which has so long been the blighting curse of 
humanity. In view of these considerations, what glorious prospects 
are spread out around us, for us and succeeding generations, in this 
land but just redeemed rom the hand of the vandal barbarian. 

Now for a moment I wish to talk to the ladies wearing the badge 
of this association. I should always feel I had been derelict in my 
duty should I fail to express my high appreciation of your useful- 
ness in your field of labor here. In your early walks in life you 
never trailed long richly embroidered silk dresses in the dust in 
the vain hope of exciting admiration. You never disfigured your 
early tabernacles with stays and laces for the same object. You 
never shut out the light of heaven from your habitation for fear it 
might interfere with your personal beauty. But, satisfied with the 
divine form that God had given you, in which no sculptor could 
detect a fault, you attired yourself with neatness and simplicity; 
and when employed in the sphere of your usefulness you were 
more lovely and beloved than the gaudy queen in her palace. But 
you were the guardian angels of our household homes, without 
whom this landj would have been desolate indeed. You com- 
menced your journey in life here in log shanties with blanket 




partitions of your own manufacture, with probably a chest for your 
first table, and a three-legged puncheon stool for your first sofa; 
and without a single female friend to whom you could confide the 
secret treasures of your womanly heart. "With all these discourage- 
ments surrounding you, you have patiently toiled and struggled on 
until your reward is apparent in your parlor and in your kitchen; 
in your fine carriage, your costly dwelling and your broad acres; 
but most of all in the bright prospects of these children around 
you. To you, ladies, we owe much for what our country is to-day. 

* * * To the president, marshal, officers of the day and 
members of the association I have a few words to say at parting. 
We came to this couutry many years ago, all nearly at the same 
time, and the paths we have trod have all rain nearly in the same 
direction; and notwithstanding the many trials we have en- 
countered, the tribulations we have passed through, the gloom 
that has at times enveloped us, I feel that we have reason to re- 
joice that we staked our fortunes here. When I look around upon 
the bright, intelligent faces of these, our children, and realize that 
they have all been nurtured, fed and educated from the products 
of this land of our adoption, matured and developed into manhood 
and womanhood, with capacity for filling and adorning the highest 
positions in life, I feel that we have not labored in vain, nor spent 
our strength for naught, but that when we shall be called from this 
sphere of existence we shall go hence leaving a proud, imperish- 
able record. 

Finally, to all, let me say, let the glad greetings of friends here 
to-day be indelibly impressed upon the memory. May joy and 
gladness pervade every heart and go with you to your several 
homes, and a spirit of true love and affection permeate every soul, 
and flow out in kind words and deeds through all the ramifications 
of society. 


From the Chicago Tribune. 

Blazing bright as vivid lightning in sheeted wreaths of fire — 
Rushing onward like the tempest, like a demon in its ire — 
Loud as the roaring cataract, or breakers on the strand, 
The flaming billows brightly roll across the fated land. 

In matchless waves of brilliancy it flashes on the night 

Bright as the red volcano, a sparkling sea of light — 

Wildly drifting like the whirlwind o'er vale, and fen, and brake — 

Consuming every vestige of verdure in its wake. 

el I — — 



Fierce as the crested billows upon the surging main, 
It sweeps in fiery grandeur across the fertile plain, 
Lapping up all vegetation with red tongues sharp and lithe — 
Nature's automatic mower, cutting cleaner than a scythe. 

Like the sand-storm of the desert, the scorching dread simoom, 
It makes the land a wilderness though clothed in summer-bloom, 
Marring everything it touches, leaving in each tread a stain — 
Scathing, shrivelling, and destroying in its devastating train. 

The swift-winged grouse in terror fly before its torrid breath ; 
The startled deer bounds nimbly on to 'scape a fiery death j 
The gray wolf knows its fateful sound, and fears its fatal glare, 
And hurries from its baleful light to seek a cooler lair. 

The Indian from his wigwam surveys the gleaming flood, 
And mounts his mettled pony to reach some sheltered wood; 
How often have the restless flames his simple lodge cousumed, 
And all his earthly treasures in one red grave entombed ! 

The hunter in his lonely camp dreads its infernal roar, 
As does the mariner the storm upon the leeward shore ; 
Yet in its flames he can discern the pillar, cloud, and hand 
By which Jehovah leads the way toward the Promised Land. 

Each grand fire of the prairie is Nature's mirror-stone, 
Young Freedom's glowing oriflam to light the squatter's throne ; 
Hail ! glorious waves of fire and cloud upon the Western lea, 
The beacons of the wilderness, the watchflres of the free. 

1 V) 


Chapter in. 


Origin of the County's Name. — Establishment of MoHenet 
County feom Cook. — Legislative Commission. — Selection of 
the County Seat. — First Election. — Commissioners' Court. — 
Formation of Precincts and Eoad Districts. — Tax and Toll 
Kates.— Lake County Organized. — Precincts Re-formed. — 
Township Organization.— The Circuit Court.— First County 
Buildings.— Removal of the County Seat. — New County 
Buildings.— The Present Court-House and Jail. — Provisions 
for Paupers. — The County Farm. — Items of Interest. 

The county of McHenry was named in honor of Colonel William 
McHenry, an officer in the Black Hawk war, who marched with 
his forces through the territory that now comprises McHenry 
County. He joined his forces with General Atkinson's at Fort 
Atkinson, Wis., and subsequently fought with General Dodge. 
He participated in the battle of Bad Axe, which resulted in defeat- 
ing Black Hawk and driving him west of the Mississippi River. 

The territory now comprising McHenry and Lake counties was 
formed into McHenry County by an act of the Legislature approved 
Jan. 16, 1836. The title of the bill was "An act to establish cer- 
tain counties," and section 1 reads as follows: 

u Be it enacted, etc., That all that tract of country within the 
following boundaries, to-wit: Beginning at a point on Lake Michi- 
gan where the township line dividing townships 42 and 43 strikes 
said lake and running thence west along said line to the east line 
of range number 4, east of the third principal meridian, thence 
north to the boundary line of the State, thence east to Lake Michi- 
gan, thence along the shore of said lake to the place of beginning, 
shall constitute a new county to be called McHenry." 

The territory constituting the new connty was taken from the 
county of Cook.* Section 16 of the above mentioned act contains 
a provision that 

*Cook County was organized in March, 1831, and embraced, in addition to 
its present territory, what is now included in the counties of Lake. McHenry 
Du Page and Will. 


-^I tzz;!" — — ^-»k- 


" The county of McHenry shall continue to form a part of Cook 
until it shall be organized; shall vote with the county of Cook in 
all general elections, until otherwise provided by law." 

"Winnebago, Jo Daviess, Kane, Ogle and Whiteside counties 
were established by other sections of the same act. 

Subsequently the Legislature provided for the organization of 
the county, appointed a commission to locate the county-seat, 
and set apart the first day of June, 1837, as an election day, for 
the choosing of county officers. The commissioners appointed to 
locate the county-seat were: M. L. Ooville, of McLean County. 
Peter Cohen, of "Will County, and Daniel Dunham, of Kane County! 
Of course every important settlement in the county desired to have 
the seat of justice for its possession. Therefore Independence 
Grove (now Libertyville), Half Day, McHenry, Crystal Lake 
and Fort Hill each urged its claims to the honor. The commis- 
sioners, after examining the various competing points, on the 10th 
of May, 1837, fixed upon McHenry. as the county seat, it being 
near the geographical center of the county as then constituted. 
McHenry County then contained thirty congressional townships, 
and a small population, most of which was east of Fox Eiver. 


The first public record of an official character in McHenry 
County is as follows: 

'■'■McHenry County Record. 

"June 1, 1837. 

" At an election held at the house of Hiram Kennecott,* in 
McHenry County and State of Illinois, on the first day of June, 
one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, which was ordered 
by the Legislature for the organization of said county of McHenry, 
the following named persons were duly elected for the following 
described offices, to- wit: 

"Charles H. Bartlett, Matthias Mason, Solomon Norton, County 
Commissioners; Henry B. Steele, Sheriff; Michael C. McGuire 
Coroner; Seth Washburn, Eecorder; Charles E. Moore, Surveyor." 

Sept. 9, 1837, a general election was ordered in the several pre- 
cincts of the county on Oct. 9, 1837, for one county commissioner, 
one commissioner's clerk; and also to fill all vacancies in the pre- 
cincts with magistrates and constables. 

♦Near Half Day, in the present county of Lake. 





From the organization of the county until the adoption of the 
township system, in 1850, the duties now devolving upon the 
Board of Supervisors were discharged by three commissioners, who 
fixed the rates of taxation, granted mercantile, tavern and ferry 
licenses, established rates of toll and prices for entertainment, 
ordered roads, formed election precincts, appointed county and 
municipal officers, and exercised general supervision over all county 
matters. The record of their first meeting, or court, begins as 

" At a meeting of the Commissioner's Court of Mc Henry County, 
begun and held in said county on the fifth day of June, A. D. one 
thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, it being the first session 
of said court after the organization of said county of McHenry: 
Present, The Hon. Charles H. Bartlett, Matthias Mason, and Sol- 
omon Norton, Commissioners; Hamilton Dennison, Clerk. 

"Hamilton Dennison was appointed Clerk, came forward and 
gave bail bond, with Seth Washburn and Henry B. Steele, his 
sureties, and took an oath to support the Constitution of the United 
States and the State of Illinois, and the oath of office," etc. 

The next act was the appointment of Andrew S. Wells as County 
Treasurer, who gave bonds, with Starr Titus and Seth Washburn 
as sureties, and was duly sworn into office. This done, the court 
proceeded to divide the county into election precincts. 

Fox Precinct. — "Ordered by the court, That the following de- 
scribed district of country — viz.: Commencing at a point two 
miles east of Fox River on the south boundary line of McHenry 
County; thence west, following the south line of said county to 
the southwest corner of said county; thence north, following the 
west line of said county; thence east, on the north line of said 
county to a point two miles east of Fox River; thence south, fol 
lowing the course of said river, to the place of beginning— shall 
constitute a general precinct and magistrate's district, to be called 
Fox Precinct and Magistrate's District." 

For this extensive precinct — comprising more territory than the 
whole of the present county of McHenry— Christy Gr. Wheeler, 
Win. L. Way and John V. McLean were appointed judges of elec- 
tion. The place of holding elections was ordered to be at the house 
of Christy G-. Wheeler, and an election for two justices of the peace 
and two constables was ordered on the third day of July, 1837. 

After the transaction of a little further business "court ad- 



journed until Saturday next, at the house of Charles H. Bartlett, 
on the Desplaines River, at one o'clock p. m." In the foregoing 
entries no attempts have been made to follow the original spelling 
as it appears upon the records. There district appears as "des- 
trict;" magistrate, as " magestrate ;", place, as "plase;" meeting, 
as "meting," together with many other departures from modern 
orthographical standards, showing that the writer was probably 
better accustomed to holdiug the plow than to guiding the pen. 

Saturday, June 10, 1837, the court met, pursuant to adjourn- 
ment, and proceeded to divide the remainder of the county into 
precincts. These were named Oak, Lake, Indian Creek and Ab- 
ington precincts. As these divisions belonged to the territory 
now included in Lake County, we omit any description of them. 
The fact that but one precinct was deemed necessary for all the 
people living in what now comprises McHenry County, while four 
election districts were provided for the people of Lake, shows that 
the latter territory must have been much more populous than the 

Road Districts. — At the first term of Commissioners' Court, 
June 10, 1837, McHenry County was divided into eight road dis- 
tricts, described as follows: 

No. 1. — "That part of the Lake road commencing at line of 
McHenry County and extending to the north line of Oak Precinct." 
A. C. Ellis was appointed Supervisor of this district for one year 
from the first day of March, 1837. 

No. 2. — "That part of the Lake road commencing at the north 
line of Oak Precinct and extending to the north line of McHenry 
County." Thomas W. Nichols was appointed Supervisor. 

No. 3. — "That part of the road in Oak Precinct west of the 
north branch of the Chicago River, commencing on the south line 
of said county, and extending to the north line of Oak Precinct." 
Supervisor appointed, Samuel Sherman. 

No. 4. — " That part of the Desplaines road leading from Chicago 
to Milwaukee, commencing at the south boundary line of said 
county, and extending to the north line of Ferry Hubbard's claim." 
Seth Washburn was appointed Supervisor. 

No. 5. — " That part of the Desplaines road commencing at the 
north side of Ferry Hubbard's claim, and extending to the north 
side of Wynkoop's claim." Ransom Steele, Supervisor. 

No. 6. "That part of the De3plaiues road commencing at the 

~s> \ 


north line of Wynkoop's claim, and extending north to where said 
road crosses the Desplaines River." Phineas Sherman, Supervisor. 

jjo. 7. "The road commencing near Washburn's, on Indian 

Creek, and extending west to Bang's Lake." David P. Foot, 

N . 8. — Fox Precinct; John Chandler, Supervisor. 

Tax Rates.— June 10, 1837, " Ordered by the court, That the 
following descriptions of property be taxable one per cent, on the 
dollar for this year, viz. : On slaves and indentured or registered 
negro or mulatto servants; on pleasure carriages; on distilleries; 
on stock in trade; on all horses, mares, mules, asses and neat cattle 
above three years of age; on swine; on lumber and one-horse 
wagons; on clocks and on watches with their appendages." 

At the March term, 1838, all of the kinds of property above de- 
scribed, as well as " sheep and all ferry s," were declared taxable at 
one-half per cent, on the dollar. 

First Roads. — At the September term of court, begun Sept. 4, 
1837, the subject of roads first enlisted the attention of the com- 
missioners. Daniel Newcomb, John McCullotn and Doctor Hale 
were appointed Viewers, "to view, survey and lay off a road to 
commence at McHenry Village and running north to the State 
line. The same date, Chauncey Beckwith, Abijah Barnum and 
John V. McLean were appointed to survey a road " commencing at 
or near Doctor A. Cornish's, thence running to McHenry, crossing 
English Prairie to the north line of said county of McHenry." 
Another road was ordered to be surveyed by Win. Sponable, Rob- 
ert C White and David Bay, to commence "at the east line of 
Winnebago County, west of Belden's Grove; thence east to Joseph 
Belden's; thence east along the edge of the timber to the Kish- 
waukee, near Robert G. White's; thence across the Kishwaukee; 
then on the nearest and best route to the bridge on Fox River, near 
Samuel Gillon's." John McClure, John C. Gibson and William 
Bay were appointed to view a road "from McHenry Village, run- 
ning a southwest course across Wm. M. Holenback's claim, near 
his house, to William Hartman's in Virginia settlement; thence 
through the Bay settlement to the Kishwaukee, at or near Mr- 
White's" (Robert G. White's). 

Virginia Precinct. — In the Commissioners' Court, September 
term, 1837, ordered by the court, "That that tract of country — viz. : 
Commencing at a point two miles east of Fox River, thence west 
following the south line of said county a distance of twelve miles, 


, /£ , dLuM*^. 


thence north twelve miles, thence east to a point two miles east of 
Fox River, thence south following two miles from the river to the 
place of beginning — shall constitute a general precinct and magie 
trate's district to be called Virginia Precinct and Magistrate's Dis- 

For the above precinct, Berman Crandall, Andrew Cornish and 
Abner W. Beardsley were appointed judges of election. The house 
of Berman Crandall was designated as the voting place. 

June 1, 184:0, "all that part of Virginia Precinct lying north of 
the north line of township 43, east of Fox River, was attached to 
McHenry Precinct." In December, 1842, the place of holding elec- 
tions was changed to the house of Lyman King. 

McHenry Precinct. — Sept. 4, 1837, the Commissioners' Court 
ordered: "That the following tract of country — viz.: Commencing 
at a point two miles east of Fox River, thence west following the 
noith line of the Virginia Precinct twelve miles, thence north to 
the State line, thence east following said State line to a point two 
miles east of Fox River, thence south following said river to the 
place of beginning — shall constitute a general precinct and magis- 
trate's district to be called McHenry Precinct and Magistrate's 
District." For this precinct, elections were ordered to be held at 
the house of Christy C Wheeler, and Christy G. Wheeler, John 
V. McLean and Wm. Way were appointed judges of election. 

Nepeksink Precinct. — Sept. 4, 1837: "Ordered by the court, 
That the following tract of country— viz.' Commencing at the north 
corner of McHenry Precinct on the State line, thence south follow- 
ing the west line of McHenry Precinct to the southwest corner, 
thence west to the county line, thence north to the State line, 
thence east along said State line to the place of beginning — shall 
constitute a general precinct and magistrate's district to be called 
Nepersink Precinct and Magistrate's District." Samuel Conlogne, 
John D. Cone and John Diggins were appointed judges of election 
of the above district; and elections were to be held at the house of 
Samuel Conlogne. In December, 1838, the place of elections was 
changed to the house of Robert Metcalf. June 20, 1839, it was 
changed to the school-house on section 1, township 45, range 5 east. 

Kishwaukee Precinct. — Under the same date, " Ordered by the 
court, That the following tract of country — viz.: Commencing at the 
southwest corner of Virginia Precinct, thence west following the 
south line of said county of McHenry to the west line of said 
county, thence* north following said county line to the southwest 




corner of Nepersink Precinct, thence east to the northwest corner 
of Virginia Precinct, thence south to the county line to the place 
of beginning — shall constitute a general precinct and magistrate's 
district to be called the Kishwaukee Precinct and Magistrate's 

For Kiskwaukee Precinct, Robert G. White, Whiteman Cobb 
and William Sponable were appointed judges of election; and 
elections were ordered to be held at the house of William Spon- 
able. In June, 1838, the house of J. Rodgers was made the voting 
place. Two years later the election place was changed to the 
"Block School-house"; and in October, 1840, to Calvin Spencer's. 

Cook County Line. — Dec. 11, 1837: " Ordered by the court, That 
McHenry County, in conjunction with Cook County, furnish a sur- 
veyor and necessary help to survey the county line between Cook 
and McHenry, commencing at the northwest corner of Cook 
County." The report of the survey was accepted at the March 
meeting following. 

Tavern Rates. — In the Commissioner's. Court, Dec. 11, 1837, 
" Ordered by the court, That the several landlords of McHenry 
County shall receive the following fees and compensations for the 
years 1837-'8: 

For brandy, gin and rum, per half pint, 12£ cents; per pint, 
25 cents; for wine, per half pint, 18J cents; per pint, 37£ cents; 
for whisky, per half pint, 6^ cents; per pint, 12£ cents; for cider 
or beer, per half pint, 6£ cents; per pint, 12£ cents; for breakfast, 
dinner or supper, 37i cents; for lodging, per night, 12£ cents; for 
horses to hay, per night, per span, 25 cents. 

Licenses. — Among early licenses granted by the Commissioners' 
Court were the following: Andrew Cornish, ferry on Fox River, 
one year from Sept. 4, 1837, $5. B. B. Brown, ferry license. 
Dec. 4, 1837, C. G. Wheeler, mercantile license for one year from 
June 1, 1837. David Goff, for $5, granted a tavern license for one 
year from Jan. 1, 1838; Emery B. Johnson, ditto, $10; Seth 
Washburn, ditto, $10; John King, ditto, $5; J. G. Gary, Lake Pre- 
cinct, tavern license for one year from Jan. 1, 1838; J. H. Fos- 
ter and Rufus Soules, tavern licenses. -Sawyer, mercantile 

license, Independence Grove, June term, 1838. The tavern-keep- 
ing industry seems to have flourished, the forms of the law not al- 
ways being complied with, as the following order bears witness: 

July 16, 1838: "Ordered by the court, That Henry B. Steele, 
Sheriff, be, and he is hereby, authorized to inquire into all persons 




that are keeping public houses in this county, and those who have 
got no license are to get them, or take their signs down, or be fined 
according to law." 

Brown & Johnson, McHenry,were granted a ferry license at the 
September term, 1838. Wm. Luce, mercantile license in McHenry 
for ninety days, $5; September term, 1838. Dr. "Wm. Crane, mer- 
cantile license, Independence Grove, one year, $8; George Thomp- 
son, mercantile license, one year, $5. In December, 1838, Erastus 
Hanghton, of Indian Creek Precinct, was granted a tavern license 
for $7. At the January term, 1839, the following licenses were 
granted: B. Simons, peddler, $6; John Easton, merchant, $7; 
"Wm. Crane, tavern-keeper, $10; Swain & Storrs, merchants, $5. 
At the March term, 1839, licenses were granted as follows: David 
Goff, tavern, $7; Stanton M. Thomas, ferry. $7; Solomon D. Belden, 
mercantile, $8; Christy G. Wheeler, tavern, $5; Wm. Easton, tav- 
ern, $10; J. H. Foster, tavern, $10; Asahel Disbrow, tavern, $5; 
Andrew Donnelly, tavern, $7; "Wm. Dwyer, tavern, $10; AbnerW. 
Beardsley, tavern, $5; Christopher Walkup, " temperance house," 
$5; Proctor Smith, tavern, $8; Joseph Wood, "temperance house," 
$5; Ezra Newell, tavern, $7. In June, 1839, Isaac Daney (Dana?) 
was granted a license to keep a ferry on Fox River, for $5. By an 
order of the court passed at the June term, 1842, merchants, ped- 
dlers and auctioneers were required to pay a license fee of $5 per 
year; grocers who sold liquors,' $25 per year. 

Bounty on Wolves. — At the June term of the Commissioners' 
Court, 1838, the following bounty upon wolves was fixed: "For 
each wolf known and denominated as the big wolf, of six months 
old and upward, $10; for each wolf of the same kind under the age 
of six months, and for each wolf known and denominated as the 
prairie wolf, of any age, the sum of $5 to be paid out of the county 
treasury on the certificate of the clerk of the County Commission- 
ers' Court. The person claiming such reward shall produce the 
scalp or scalps with the ears thereon within thirty days after the 
same was taken and killed; also to comply with all of the act en- 
titled 'An act for the encouragement of killing wolves,' passed by 
the Legislature of this State March 2, 1837." This order was re- 
pealed at the September term following. 

Feeey Rates. — The following ferry rates for the county were 
fixed by the commissioners in March, 1839: 

For each wagon and span of horses or yoke of oxen, 37J cents; 
for each one horse wagon and horse, 37£ cents; for each horse and 


rider, 25 cents; for each extra or led horse or ox, 6| cents; for each 
foot passenger, 124, cents; for neat cattle, per head, 6J- cents ; for each 
hog, sheep, goat or calf, 4 cents; for horse and sulky or hor8e and 
gig, 37£ cents; for cart and oxen or horse and cart, 37£ cents; 

Lake County Formed. — By act of the Legislature approved 
March 1, 1839, it was enacted that " all that portion of Mc Henry 
County east of a range or sectional line not less than three miles 
nor more than four miles east of the present county seat of Mc- 
Henry County shall constitute a new county to be called the county 
of Lake." 

June 20, 1839. At a special meeting of the Board of Commis- 
sioners of McHenry County it was ordered, " That an election be 
held in Lake County on the first Monday in August next, in each 
precinct as now organized in McHenry County, for three commis- 
sioners, one commissioners' clerk, one coroner, one probate justice 
of the peace, one treasurer, one recorder, one school commissioner, 
two justices of the peace and two constables in each precinct." It 
was further ordered, "That the portions of Indian Creek, Abing- 
don, McHenry and Virginia precincts which lie east and west 
of the division line-between Lake and McHenry counties be at- 
tached to the opposite precincts." 

Jane 25, 1839. " Ordered by the court, That the poll books be 
opened at the August elections to vote for and against a division 
of the county of McHenry, the line thereof to be the center of Fox 
River from north to south, and that the east end be called Lake 

Instead of the "center of the river," as the dividing line, Lake 
County took all east of the section line running north and south 
throe miles east of the river at McHenry; in other words, two-thirds 
of range 9, east, together with all lying eist of the line mentioned. 

Lake County Line. — March 2, 1840, Abijah S. Barnum, Sur- 
veyor of McHenry County, was appointed to act in conjunction 
with an agent to be appointed from Lake County, to establish the 
line between McHenry and Lake counties. Barnum was author- 
ized to select a disinterested third person, not living in either of 
the two counties, in conjunction with whom the two surveyors 
were to proceed to establish the line. The report of the survey 
does not appear upon the records, but it is probable that it was 
satisfactory, as no further mention of the subject is made. 

Independent Preoinot. — In the Commissioners' Court, Oct. 5, 
1840, it was ordered, "That a new precinct be formed from Mc- 

f a »- -* s > 




Henry Precinct, embracing township 46, range 7; township 46, 
range 8, and that part of township 46, range 9, which belongs to 
McHeury County shall be known and designated as and by the 
name of Independent Precinct; and that Bela H. Tryon, Jonathan 
Kimball and "William McOonnell be appointed judges of election 
in and for said precinct; and that the place of holding election in 
said precinct shall be at I. W. White's, at Solon Mill." 


The Commissioners' Court, March 1, 1841, fixed the boundaries 
of the several precincts in McHenry County as follows : 

"Independent Precinct contains township 46, range 7; township 
46, range 8, and the west half of township 46, range 9. 

"Nepersink Precinct contains range 6, township 46, and range 
5, township 46. 

"Eagle Precinct contains township 45, range 5, and two miles 
off from the north part of township 44, range 5. 

" Hartland Precinct contains township 45, range 6, and the west 
half of township 45, range 7; the north half of township 44, range 6» 
and sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17 and 18 of township 44, range 7. 

" McHenry Precioct contains the east half of township 45, range 
7; township 45, range 8; west half of township 45, range 9, and 
all that part of township 44, range 9, which formerly belonged to 
Virginia Precinct lying on the east side of Fox River. 

"Virginia Precinct contains township 44, range 8, sections 1, 2, 
3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and also the south half of township 44, all 
being in township 44, range 7; and township 43, range 7; town- 
ship 43, range 8; the west half of township 43, range 9. 

" Kishwaukee Precinct contains the south half of township 44, 
range 6, and sections 13, 14, 15,' 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 
25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, of township 44, range 
5; township 43, range 5, and township 43, range 6." 

Elections were ordered for justices and constables on the first 
Monday in April, the places of election to be as follows : 

Nepersink Precinct, house of Eli S. Reynolds; Eagle Precinct, 
house of Nathan H. Foster; Hartland Precinct, house of Alvin 
Judd; McHenry Precinct, court-house. In March, 1845, the court- 
house at Centerville (Woodstock) was made the election place of 
Hartland Precinct; June 3, 1845, it was changed to the house of 
John A. Cannada. 

In June, 1843, the place of holding elections in Independent 



Precinct was changed to " the school-house in Hebron Township." 
In June, 1846, "the school-house near James Livingston's, in 
Hebron Township," became the voting place. At the same time 
the election place of Hartland Precinct was changed to Dennis 
Quinlan's house; of McHenry, to the school-house in the town of 
McHenry, and of Kishwaukee to the house of David Hammer. 

March 29, 1841, " Ordered by the court, That township 45, range 
5, be annexed and hereafter form a part of Nepersink Precinct; 
and that part of township 44, range 5, which heretofore belonged 
to Eagle Precinct be attached to Kishwaukee Precinct; and that 
Eagle Precinct (formed at the March term of said court) be and is 
hereby extinguished from the list of precincts in McHenry County; 
and that the place for holding elections in Nepersink Precinct be 
held at the school-house near Jason N. Jerome's, in said precinct; 
and that Joseph Metcalf, Nathaniel Smith and Welby Digging be 
appointed judges of election in said precinct." 

At the June term, 1841, the north half of township 44, range 6, 
was re-annexed to Kishwaukee Precinct and Hartland Precinct 
"ceased to exercise jurisdiction over said portion of the township 
above named." 

Wentwoeth Peecinot. — March 6, 1843, " Ordered by the court, 
That the petition of divers citizens of Independent Precinct [be 
granted] that the precinct heretofore known as Independent pre- 
cinct [be divided] and that a new precinct be formed with the 
boundaries as follows, to-wit: To consist of the whole of township 
No. 46, of range 9, and four miles off from the side of township - 
No. 46, of range 8, east of the third principal meridian; and that 
the election be held at the house of Sylvester Wilson. And it is 
further ordered, That Jonathan Kimball, Daniel Andrews and 
Joseph S. Blivin be appointed judges of election of said precinct. 
And it was further ordered, That said precinct be known and styled 
by the name of Wentworth." In June, 1846, the school-house in 
Solon was made the election place of this precinct. 

Fox Peecinct. — Dec. 5, 1843. In the Commissioners' Court, 
" Ordered by the court, That a new precinct be formed off from the 
southeast corner of Virginia, with the boundaries as follows, viz.: 
Commencing at the southeast corner of McHenry County, running 
north on the line between McHenry and Lake counties to the 
northeast corner of section 5, on the south line of township 44, 
range 9; thence west six miles to the northwest corner of section 
4, township 43, range 8; thence south to the Kane County line; 



thence east to the place of beginning. Said precinct shall be known 
by the name of Fox Precinct, and that Thomas R. Ohnnn, Jared 
Cornish and John Gillilan be, and they are hereby, appointed judges 
of election in and for said precinct. The elections in said precinct 
are to be held at the house of Horace Wells." 

In March, 1844, the place of holding elections in Fox Precinct 
was changed to the " house of Eli Henderson, in Algonquin." 

In June, 1841, the boundaries of the above precinct were altered 
as follows : " Commencing at the northeast corner of section 4, 
running thence south to the southeast corner of section 16, thence 
west one mile, thence south to the county line." 

Same date. "Ordered, That the lines of Fox Precinct be 
changed, so as to ."commence at the southwest corner of section 9, 
in township 43 north, range 8 east, on the west line of Fox Precinct; 
thence east on the south side of sections 9, 10, etc., till it reaches 
the county line." In June, 1846, S. M. Thomas's house was made 
the voting place. 

Byron Precinct. — June 2, 1845. " Ordered by the court, That 
a new precinct be formed from Nepersink Precinct with the 
boundaries as follows: Including townships 45 and 46 north, of 
range 5, east of the third principal meridian, and that said precinct 
be called Byron." Robert Latham, Joseph Kerr and John Dig- 
gins were appointed judges of elections — the place of holding elec- 
tions to be at the house of Jonathan Jackman. 

Alden Precinct. — June 2, 1845. " Ordered by the court, That a 
new precinct be formed from the remainder of Uepersink Precinct, 
consisting of township 46 north, range 6 east, and that said precinct 
be called Alden." Elections were ordered to be held at the house 
of F. "Wedgwood. Henry Bashford, George "Ward and Jonathan 
Manzer were appointed judges of elections. In September, 1848, 
the election place was changed to ' ' the school-house in District No. 
3, in township 46, range 6." 

"Woodstock Precinct. — June 3, 1845. " Ordered by the court, 
That township 46 north, range 7 east, and the north half of town- 
ship 44 north, range 7 east, constitute a new precinct, and that 
said precinct be called Woodstock." Elections were ordered to be 
held at the court-house; Alvin Judd, Pliny Hayward and Robert 
Metcalf, judges of election. 

Cass Precinct. — June term, Commissioners' Court, 1846. 
"Ordered by the court, That the place of holding elections in Vir- 
ginia Precinct be at the house of Henry M. Wait and S. King in 


said precinct, and that the name of said precinct be changed to 


Franklin Preoinot.— March 2, 1847. "On the petition of 
Paschal Stowell and others, Kishwaukee Precinct was divided, and 
township 44 north, range 6 east, was constituted a precinct to be 
known as Franklin." Elections were ordered to be held at the 
school-house in Franklin Wile; {and S. Stowell, Dantbrth S. Marcy 
and Andrew Purvis appointed judges of election. 

Coral Preoinot.— March 2, 1847. " And now come Sloan and 
Strode, attorneys for Ellison D. Marsh and others, and filed the 
petition of one hundred and eighty-two citizens of Kishwaukee 
precinct for a division of said precinct, to be bounded as follows, 
to-wit: To consist of township 43, ranges 5 and 6, as described 
in said petition, and the new precinct as prayed for to be called Coral; 
which motion is resisted by A. B. Coon, attorney for D. Hammers; 
and the court, having heard the parties thereon, sustains the motion 
of the said Ellison D. Marsh as made by his attorneys. It is there- 
fore ordered that a division of Kishwaukee Precinct be made and 
that a new precinct be formed, consisting of said township 43, 
ranges 5 and 6, and that said precinct be known and styled by the 
name of Coral Precinct. And thereupon the said David Hammers, 
by Coon, his attorney, prays the court for an appeal herein to the 
Circuit Court of said county, which motion is resisted by Sloan; 
and the court having heard the parties thereon overrules the said 
motion of the said Hammers." 

Daniel Stewart, Peter W. Dietz and Charles V. Pulver were 
appointed judges of election in Coral Precinct. 

Dec. 7, 1847. "Ordered by the court, That the petition of 
divers citizens residing north of the center line in township 44 
north, range 8, east of the third principal meridian and west of 
Fox River, asking to have that part of said township above described 
annexed to McHenry Precinct be accepted." 

Chemung Precinct. — June 7, 1848. "Ordered by the court, 
That township 46 north, range 5 east, be, and is hereby, consti- 
tuted an election precinct by the name of Chemung; that the 
elections in paid precinct be held at the Parker's Hotel, in the 
village of Chemung, and that Daniel P. Hutchinson, Daniel 
Baker and ffm. Hart, Jr., be appointed judges." 

Grafton Precinct. — June 7,1848. " Ordered by the court, That 
township 43 north, range 7 east, and the south half of township 
44 north, range 7 east, be, and is hereby, constituted an election 

'" 4^=^ ' ' " ■ ■ — ^-p 


precinct under the name of Grafton Precinct, and that Jesse Sla- 
vins, E. S. Hayden and Elisha Dayton be appointed judges ot 
elections in said precinct; and that the place of holding elections 
in said precinct be at the school-house on section 10, in township 
43, range 7 east." 

Sept. 5, 1849. — On the petition of John Pardy and others, Inde- 
pendent Precinct was divided, and the Western third of township 
46, range 8, taken from Independent and attached to Kishwaukee 


In the records of the Oouuty Court, Dec. 5, 1849, the following 
entry is found: 

"The court having received from the clerk a certified statement 
of the vote of the freemen of McHenry County on the sixth of 
November, instant, and having found that the whole uumber of 
votes so given were nineteen hundred and forty-three in favor of a 
township organization, it is therefore ordered that Carlisle Hastings, 
Phineas W. Piatt and Frederick W. Smith be, and are hereby, 
appointed commissioners to divide the county of McHenry into 
towns or townships, as is provided by the 5th section of the 1st 
article of the act to provide for township and county organization. 
Approved Feb. 12,1849." 

The towns or townships formed by this commission, with the 
names of their first judges of election (appointed June 5, 1850), 
are given below. 

Benton. — Gideon Cooley, Harvey Wilson, James Thompson. 

Richmond. — Wm. A. McConnell, John Purdy, R. R. Crosby. 

Hebron. — E. W. Smith, Zenas Pierce, N. W. Herrick. 

Alden. — G. W. Dana, 1ST. M. Capron, T. B. Wakeman. 

Chemung. — D. P. Hutchinson, J. C. Thompson, Geo. Wooster. 

Byron. — Dexter Barrows, S. H. Sails, N. C. Dodge. 

Hartland. — Joel G. Wood, Edward Murphy, Cornelius Des- 

Greenwood. — Orestes Garrison, N. G. Dufield, A. A. Scheu. 

McHenry. — Ira Colby, B. B, Brom, John McOmber. 

Brooklyn. — G. A. Palmer, Wm. M. Holcomb, Josiah Walkup. 

Center.— Ross well Enos, T. B. Bid well, Arad Sly. 

Senega. — Geo. T. Kasson, T. McD. Richards, Simeon Bean. 

Marengo. — L. L. Crandall, H. H. Chapman, John Poger. 

Riley. — N. E. Barnes, Clark Richardson, Enoch Babcock. 




Coral. — L. C. Anderson, Peres Brown, Jr., K. B. Sirapkins. 
Grafton. — Thos. S. Huntley, Martin Costigan, Lewis Holdridge. 
Algonquin. — J. T. Pierson, H. B. Throop, H. C. "Wells. 
During the year 1850 the name of Brooklyn was changed to 
Nunda, Byron to Dunham, Center to Dorr, and Benton to Burton. 


The first term of the Circuit Court in this county began at 
McHenry, Feb. 10, 1883. The record is as follows: 

" Record of a Circuit Court in and for the county of McHenry, 
begun the 10th day of May, A. D. 1838. 

" Pleas before the Hon. Judge of the Seventh Judicial District 
of the State of Illinois, the Hon. Judge Pearson, and presiding 
judge of the McHenry Circuit Court, at a Circuit Court begun and 
held at McHenry, in McHenry County, on Thursday, the tenth 
day of May, in the year of our Lord one thonsand eight hundred 
and thirty-eight, and of the independence of the United States the 

"Present, the Hon. John Pearson, Judge of the Seventh Judicial 
Circuit; Alonzo Huntington, State's Attorney; Henry B. Steele, 
Sheriff of McHenry County. 

"Attest: A. B. "Wynkoop, Clerk." 

Thus reads the record which is unnecessarily verbose, even for a 
court record. It goes on, becoming hopelessly entangled in gram- 
matical meshes: 

" On return of the summons issued by the commissioners [of] 
court to the sheriff of McHenry County to summon grand jurors, 
was returned this tenth day of May served on the following persons, 

" Andrew S. Wells, James H. Lloyd, Charles H. Bartlett, Jere- 
miah Porter, Martin Shields,* Willard Jones, Phineas Sherman,* 
Leonard Gage,* Thomas McClure, Daniel Winters, Rufus Soules,* 
Richard Steele, Samuel L. Wood, Alden Harvey, Christy G. 
Wheeler, Luke Hale, John Diggins,* Amos Desmond, Moody B. 
Bailey, Aaron Randall, Christopher Walkup, Elisha Clark.* 

" And there not being a quorum present there was chosen from 
the bystanders two jurors, viz.: Wm. E. Keyes and John McCol- 
lom, from which number Charles H. Bartlett was appointed fore- 

Summons was issued to the following persons as petit jurors: 

*Not impaneled. 

7 « "- - & [> 


Win. Easton, John Herrick, J. H. Foster, John Hicks, John A. 
Mills, Erastus Houghton, Theheran Pearson, Nelson Darling, 
Ahijah S. Barnum, John McOmber, Samuel H. Walker, Eli W. 
Bingham, Russel Diggins, Uriah Cottle, Samuel Terwilligan, 
Abraham Vincent, E. F. Freeman, Burley Hunt, Timothy B. Tit- 
comb, William Irwin. Of this number there were but three delin- 
quents — John Herrick, Theheran Pearson and Wm. Irwin. 

No mention is made of lawyers except incidentally. We see 
that the following were present at this first term of court in the 
county: Alonzo Huntington, John C. Newkirk, E. W. Casey, 

Nathan Allen, J. M. Strode, Horace Butler, Giles Spring, 


No remarkably interesting cases appeared, though the amount of 
business was quite large. On the first day nineteen cases received 
the court's attention, three of which were for trespass and one for 
slander. On the second day the grand jury returned three indict- 
ments for larceny and one for assaulting an officer in the discharge 
of his duty. The court adjourned on Saturday, May 12. 


Though McHenry County is less than fifty years old, her citizens 
have thrice been called upon to provide public buildings. Scarcely 
had the first court-house and jail been finished and the public offi- 
cers comfortably established therein when new buildings were 
rendered necessary by a change in the location of the county seat. 
The second building was a hastily contrived structure, and soon 
became inadequate for the wants of the county. In 1857 the 
present court-house and jail, a building of substantial qualities and 
of good architectural style, was provided. 

At first the county officers and courts were compelled to seek 
quarters where they could. A few extracts from the early records 
will show how and by whom these temporary offices and court- 
rooms were provided. Thus, June 16, 1838, E. B. Johnson was 
allowed $1.88 for boarding prisoners at the May term of the Circuit 
Court. As the term lasted three days, the number of "prisoners " 
could njt have been large, or else the jailer put a low estimate 
upon the value of the services rendered by him. In June, 1839, 
B. B. Brown was allowed $34.75 for the use of a room for the 
Circuit Court; Christopher Walkup, $6 for taking charge of 
prisoners; Job McOmber, $6 for "watching" prisoners; Ambrose 
Stolleker, $4.25 for "guarding jail" — the absurdity of which is 



apparent, as the county had no jail; "William Olmsbury, $4 for 
guarding prisoners; George Wooster and Isaac Dana, $3 each for 
similar services. Thus we see that the number of prisoners must 
have been considerably greater than at the first term, and that they 
required " watching." By orders dated Dec. 4, 1839, March 2 r 
1840, and June 1, 1840, we learn that S. S. Greenleaf was renting 
a shop to the county for the use of the clerk of the Circuit Court 
and the county commissioners, while B. B. Brown still provided a 

The first step toward providing public buildings seems to have 
been made in 1837. 

In the Commissioners' Court, Dec. 11, 1837, "Ordered by the 
court, That the preemption right to the southeast quarter of section 
twenty-six (26) in township forty-five (45), range eight (8), east of 
the third principal meridian, and also the balance of the survey of 
the town of McHenry, comprising in all 160 acres, being the seat 
of justice of said county of McHenry, State of Illinois, be sold for 
the purpose of erecting public buildings for said county; and also 
all the right, title and interest of said county to the twenty acres 
around the stake stuck by the commissioners appointed to locate 
the seat of justice of said county. The amount of said sales of 
land is $3,000, including the whole interest of said county." 

At the same time Joseph "Wood was authorized by the commis- 
sioners to act as their agent in disposing of the above described 
lands. He was also " appointed agent to contract for the public 
buildings for said county, and further to see that said buildings- are 
built according to contract." 

Note. — At a special meeting of the Commissioners' Court, Feb. 
7, 1840, "Ordered by the court, That the appointment of Joseph 
Wood on the 11th day of December, A. D. 1837, as an agent or 
commissioner for said county, is null and void and of no effect for 
want of jurisdiction of the court, and that all his acts and appoint- 
ments are void and are of no binding force whatever." 

To further invest Mr. Wood with authority to act for them the 
commissioners ordered, "That Joseph Wood, their commissioner, 
be, and he is hereby, appointed to enter the southeast quarter of 
section 26, township 45 north, range 8, east of the third principal 
meridian; and also all that part of the northwest and southwest quar- 
ters of said section on which the county seat of McHenry is located, 
said county seat being located on a part of all the above named 
quarters of said section; and to convey all the right, title and inter- 

"3 \ 

*j &— ^ — - — »k.- 


est of said county and court, in fee simple, with a general warranty 
thereto, whenever said lands shall be entered by their said 
agent, to assure unto the purchaser a quit claim deed until a more 
complete and full conveyance can be made by said commissioner; 
also, the entry of said lands to be made as soon as the plats and 
survey have come into the land office by the purchaser furnishing 
the entrance money." This order was revoked June 20, 1839. 

The proposals of Thomas H. Haines, of Bloomington, McLean 
Co., 111., for erecting public buildings, were accepted Dec. 11, 
1837, " The plan to be set forth in the article of agreement made 
and entered into by the said commissioners through their agent or 
commissioner appointed to contract for said buildings; the said 
buildings to be one court-house and one jail, to be built on the public 
square or some other suitable place selected by their commissioner." 

Sept. 2, 1839, in the Commissioners' Court it was ordered, " That 
Ziba S. Beardsley be, and he is hereby, appointed an agent to make 
application to the register of the land office in Chicago for the 
southeast quarter section 26, in range 8 east, township 45 north, 
on which the county seat of McHenry County is located, for the 
purpose of obtaining a good and sufficient title to said land accord- 
ing to the act of Congress in such cases made and provided." 

The contractor for the court-house having died, further action 
became necessary, and on Oct. 7, 1839, " Ordered by the court, 
That Horace Long be, and he is hereby, appointed agent for the 
county of McHenry and State of Illinois to make an arrangement 
and adjustment on equitable principles with the heirs of Thomas 
H. Haines in relation to the contract made and entered into with 
the commissioners of McHenry County or their authorized agent, 
to erect, construct and complete the court-house and jail of said 
county; and that he is further instructed to use all reasonable dili- 
gence to bring this matter to a speedy termination." This order 
was revoked Feb. 17, 1840. 

Feb. 17, 1840. " Ordered by the court, That Horace Long is 
hereby appointed their agent and commissioner to obtain all their 
right and interest to the southeast quarter of section 26, in range 
8, east of the third principal meridian, township 45 north, it being 
the quarter section on which the commissioners, viz.: — Peter 
Cohen, of "Will County; Meritt L. Coville, of McLean County; and 
Daniel Dunham, of Kane County, were appointed by the Legislat- 
ure of the State of Illinois at their session in 1837, to locate the 
seat of justice in said county, did establish the same thereon; and 

«*- -" s \ 




that he is fully authorized to purchase the same whenever the said 
land can be obtained either by preemption or purchase, and he is 
further authorized and empowered to sell the same for the purpose 
of erecting one court-house aud one jiil on said quarter section, 
according to the plans to be furnished him by the county commis 
sioners; and said building to be erected on such sites as fshall be 
selected by said commissioners; said public buildings to be com- 
pleted and finished by the first day of August, A. D. 1840." 

Nearly three years had passed and still the county buildings were 
a fiction of the imagination. Now the commissioners had decided 
that something must be done. On the 2d of March, 1840, they 
appropriated the sum of $6 for "services rendered in making a 
plan and specifications for a court-house and jail for said county;" 
but the clerk neglects to tell us who made the plans and received 
the magnificent reward. 

March 2, 1840. '-Ordered by the court, That whereas Horace 
Long has been appointed agent and commissioner for the county 
of McHenry, State of Illinois, to purchase the quarter section of 
land on which the county seat of said county is now located r said Hor- 
ace Long is hereby authorized and required and fully empowered 
to execute a bond with a penal snrn of five thousand ($5,000) dol- 
lars, to William H. Beach, his heirs, executors, administrators and 
assigns, to purchase said land of Government as soon as it can be 
obtained, and thereupon to assign the same to the said William H. 
Beach or any other person or persons said Beach may direct — 
which bond shall be forever binding on the county commissioners 
of said county of McHenry and their successors in office, it being 
agreed and understood that the said Beach shall furnish the pur- 
chase money to enter said quarter section of land. It is further 
agreed by the said William H. Beach that if he shall not within ten 
days hereafter — to wit, by the fifteenth day of March, 1840, exe- 
cute and deliver to the said Horace Long a bond in the penal sura 
of five thousand dollars with security, to be approved by said Long, 
conditioned thatjie will build, finish and complete a 'certain court- 
house, and jail underneath, according to a plan which has been fur- 
nished said Long by said county commissioners, — the said buildings 
to be completed by the first day of August, A. D., 1840, — then this 
to be null and void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue." 

There is no further mention of Mr. Beach, and whether he gave 
up the contract or let it to other parties the records do not inform 
us. At all events the court-house was built and on the 5th of Augr- 


\ Q- 



ust, 1840, the commissioners held their first session within its walls. 

Oct. 5, 1840, the commissioners ordered, " That the court-house 
erected by Rufus Soules and Caleb Davidson at McHenry be, and 
the same is hereby, accepted by the county commissioners of Mc. 
Henry County." 

The county seat being in the eastern part of the county, dissatis- 
faction arose among those living at a distance from McHenry, and 
petitions were sent to the Legislature asking that the location of 
the county seat be changed. By an act approved Feb. 6, 1843, the 
Legislature provided that a vote be taken for and against removal, 
and to decide to what point it should be moved if at all. Crystal 
Lake, Walkup's Corners (four miles east of Woodstock), and the 
center of the county, now "Woodstock, each set up their claims to 
the seat of justice and the latter succeeded in securing it. 

June term, 1843. " Ordered by the court, That the bond filed 
herein by Christopher Walkup, James Dufield, William Carmack, 
Josiah Walkup and Linus Morse, obligating themselves to erect a 
court-house and jail on the land described in said bond, providing 
the seat of justice should be located on said land in a certain time 
mentioned in said bond, be accepted, and that the same be kept on 
file in the clerk's office of this court; and that an order entered 
upon the records of this court on Monday last be accepted." 

Same date. "Ordered by the court, That the bond filed by 
Alvin Judd, Daniel Blair, Andrew J. Hayward, James M.Judd, 
Josiah Dwight, George H. Griffing, Joseph Golder, George 
Stratton and Stuart Slavins relative to the removal of the seat of 
justice of McHenry County be accepted and approved." 

Also, " Ordpred by the court, That the bond filed by Samuel F. 
Shepard, J. T. Pierson, D. W. Joslyn, Beman Crandall, Alien 
Baldwin, Alexander Dawson, Joseph B. Butler, A. W. Beardsley 
and M. F. Irwin, relative to the removal of the seat of justice of 
McHenry County, be accepted and approved." 

Sept. 5, 1843. " This day came intojcourt Charles McOlure and 
moved the court to rescind an order entered on the records of this 
court at the June term, 1843, approving and accepting a bond en- 
tered into by Alvin Judd and Daniel Blair as principals, and An- 
drew J. Hayward, James M. Judd, Josiah Dwight, George H. 
Griffing, Joseph Golder, George Stratton and Stuart Slavins as se- 
curities, conditioned that now if the said Alvin Judd, Daniel Blair 
and Stuart Slavins erect a court-house and jail, and the conveyance 
of two acres of land, should the seat of justice of McHenry County 




be removed, at an election held in said county in pursuance of an 
act entitled ' an act for the removal of the seat of justice of Mc- 
Henry County,' approved Feb. 6, 1843, to the southeast quarter of 
the southwest quarter of section 5, in township 44, range 7, east of 
the third principal meridian ; on the ground that the persons afore- 
said did not agree in said bond to convey to the county aforesaid 
the two acres of ground aforesaid by warranty deed ; which said 
motion was resisted by Prelver (?) and Ames. The court after be- 
ing advised in these premises was divided in opinion, and only two 
being present, therefore the motion is overruled." 

Next day. " Or ered by the court, That Charles McClure be re- 
quired to enter into bonds in the sum of four thousand five hundred 
dollars in an appeal from a decision of this court yesterday upon 
the motion of said McClure to rescind an order made and entered 
of record in this court at the June term thereof, 1843, approving 
th bond for the conveying two acres of land and the erection of a 
court-house and jail upon the southeast quarter of the southwest 
quarter of section 5, township 44, range 7 east, by Alvin Judd 
and others in case the seat of justice should be located at an elec- 
tion held for the removal of the seat of justice of McHenry County 
in pursuance of law." 

At a special term of court, begun Sept. 25, 1843, the following 
entry was made upon the record: " The court having on this day 
examined the certificate of the clerk of this court in relation to the 
removal of the seat of justice of Mc Henry County, at an election 
begun and held on the fourth day of September, inst., in which it 
appeared that the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter sec- 
tions, township 44, -range 7, east of the third principal meridian, 
receive da majority of all the votes polled at said election, for the 
seat of justice of said McHenry County; and it being made the 
duty of the court by the act authorizing an election to be held in 
said county for the removal of the seat of justice of the county 
aforesaid, to cause proclamation to be made that a certain place 
voted for had received the highest number of votes for said seat of 
justice. The court being divided in opinion relative to the valid- 
ity of the bond filed in this court at the June term thereof by Alvin 
Judd and others for the erection of a court-house and jail in case 
the said seat of justice should be removed to the above described 
land, consequently no proclamation could be made of the result of 
the election aforesaid." 

At the December term following, the court ordered a proclama 


-• s 



tion of the result of the above mentioned election to be made pub- 
lic and a notice posted on the court-house door certifying that the 
place named for the county seat received a majority of votes. At 
a special term of the Commissioners' Court, Dec. 22, 1843, con- 
vened at the instance of Alvin Judd, who was required to pay the 
expenses thereof, the court ordered that Judd's name be stricken 
from the bond relative to the removal of the seat of justice to the 
southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 5, township 
44 north, range 7 east, and the name of George C. Dean substi- 
tuted instead. 

September term, 1844. " Ordered by the court, That the war- 
ranty deed made to the county by George C. Dean of the first 
part and the county commissioners of McHenry County and their 
successors in office of the second part, conveying to the county of 
McHenry two acres of land as described therein, for a public square 
at Centerville, in said county, with the court-house and jail for said 
county situated thereon, be, and the same is hereby, accepted." 

Just when, to all appearances, the county seat was permanently 
settled, on the 4th of September, 1844, came into court E. W. 
Smith, by his attorney, stating that he made application on the 
25th day of August, 1843, at the land office in Chicago, and offered 
to deposit the money for the southeast quarter of the southwest 
quarter of section 5, in township 44, range 7, east of the third 
principal meridian, said forty acres being the same upon which it is 
contemplated to locate the county seat; stating that the register 
told him he need not deposit the money, but he could be informed 
of the time when Judd came to prove up his preemption, and 
should have opportunity to contest his preemption. Such informa- 
tion was never furnished him. He further informs the commis- 
sioners that he has made application to the general land office at 
Washington, and forwarded the affidavits of two persons stating 
that they heard Alvin Judd state under oath that he did not 
reside on the above land in June, 1843, and that he did not re- 
side on the said land till the fall of 1843; and Smith pro- 
posed to prosecute his claim to the above described land. The 
matter was finally settled by a special act of Congress, legalizing 
Judd's claim. 

Sept. 4, 1844, the commissioners ordered," That' the court-house 
and jail erected by George C. Dean and Daniel Blair at Center- 
ville, in McHenry County, be accepted; and it is further ordered 
that the same be received as the court-house and jail for said 


county, and the seat of justice of McHenry County be removed from 
McHenry to said Centerville." The clerk was ordered to make 
proclamation of the removal, and all the county officers were to re- 
move their offices to Centerville on the 23d of September, 1844. 

At their December court, 1844, the commissioners ordered that 
the court-house and jail in the village of McHenry be sold at pub- 
lic vendue to the highest bidder on the 8th day of January, 1S44. 
Henrv M. Wait, Sheriff, was appointed agent to conduct the sale. 

Dec. 2, 1844, the commissioners met for the first time at the new 
county seat, Centerville, now "Woodstock. They then ordered 
that the land conveyed by George C. Dean to the county commis- 
sioners and their successors in office, on the 2d of September, 1844, 
be held by said commissioners and their successors in office to and 
for the use of the said county of McHenry. 

The court-house, a plain two-story frame structure, stood nearly 
in the center of the public square in Woodstock. 

The "Rat Hole" was a public building with which the people 
of the county were familiar in former years. The court-house be- 
ing without suitable offices for the use of the county officers, the 
"Rat Hole" was built to supply them. Its beginning may be 
traced to the following order, passed at the June term of the Com- 
missioners' Court, 1846 : " Ordered, That the clerk of this court 
be, and he is hereby, authorized to advertise in some newspaper 
in this county — if any there should be — for sealed proposals 
to erect a fire-proof building at this place, for the two clerks' offices, 
recorder's office, and probate justice's office." The building, a 
brick structure with thick walls, was erected by H. M. Wait and 
others, contractors. It did not receive its name until the year af- 
ter its erection, the occasion of its christening being as follows: 
The building, when completed, was surmounted by a tin roof, to 
make it "fire-proof," according to the intention of its builders. 
Along in the winter there ctme a heavy wind which suddenly lifted 
the roof of the structure and carried it to some distance away. 
The county officers, in their offices at the time, naturally did not 
care to remain longer under such a condition of affairs, and rushed 
out with all possible haste. As they came forth they were greeted 
with a derisive shout and laughter from Henry Petrie, a merchant of 

Woodstock, who exclaimed in great glee: "See the d d rats 

crawl out of their holes!" Petrie was a Whig of very pronounced 
opinions, and had no sympathy with the Democratic party to which 
the county officers belonged. After this event the "fireproof 

Vh - ^— o l v 1 


building" whenever mentioned upon the county records or else- 
where was denominated the " Rat Hole." It was sold by the Sher- 
iff on the 25th of February, 1856, to Lindsay Joslyn for $723. It 
is now occupied by Markus's saloon and for other business purposes. 

May 21, 1853. In the meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Mr. 
Rice offered the following resolution: '■'■Resolved by this board. 
That it is prudent and expedient to appoint a committee to inquire 
into the propriety of procuring a suitable lot and the cost of the 
same, on which to erect a court-house and fire-proof clerk's office; 
and that said committee receive plans and specifications of said 
buildings and report to this board at its next meeting; which was 
carried. C. M. Willard, A. Judd, H. T. Rice, Ira Slocumb and 
Dan'l Stewart were appointed said committee." 

Thus was inaugurated the project of a new court-house. The 
subject seems to have slumbered until Sept. 14, 1854, when the 
committee on public buildings was instructed to report at the 
next meeting of the board upon the expediency and propriety of 
securing the passage of a law at the next session of the Legislature 
authorizing the Board of Supervisors to levy a special tax upon the 
assessment roll of the county in the year 1855, the amount derived 
therefrom to be expended in erecting a suitable court-house and 
jail for the use of the county. A further resolution was adopted 
Nov. 16, 1854,advising that Hon. George Gage, Senator, and Hon. 
"Wesley Diggins, Representative for this county, be instructed to 
make an effort to secure the passage of a law imposing a special 
tax of two mills upon each dollar of real and personal property in 
1855— '6, said amount to be expended in erecting county buildings. 
Such a law was passed at the next session of the Legislature. 

Meantime, in 1855, a bill was brought before the Legislature 
providing for the removal of the county seat from Woodstock to 
the eastern part of the county. The anti- Woodstock party thought 
this would be a favorable time to secure such a removal, and pro- 
ceeded so quietly that the Board of Supervisors were not aware of 
the movement until informed by the representative from this 
county. Thereupon the board presented a remonstrance. The 
bill, however, passed, and was approved Feb. 14, 1855. It pro- 
vided that at the April election the people of the county should vote 
for and against removing the county seat to Algonquin Township, 
" within one mile of the junction or crossing of the Illinois & Wis- 
consin and Fox River Yalley railroads, and between that point and 


■ *fr — — ^=te- 


Crystal Lake in said town/' The vote resulted as follows: For re- 
moval, 1,048; against removal, 2,095. 

May 30, 1855, Neill Donnelly, C. M. Goodsell and A. B. Coon 
were appointed a special committee to procure plans and specifica- 
tions for a court-house and jail, to be built together. 

June 1, 1855, a resolution was adopted setting forth the wishes 
of the Board of Supervisors as follows: That the ground then 
owned by Mary McMahon and occupied by Hill's tavern was the 
most desirable location for the new building, provided that the 
citizens of Woodstock would donate the same to the county; that 
when such conveyance was made the board would then proceed to 
levy the special tax of two mills authorized by the Legislature; 
that when the public buildings had been erected the board would 
donate the old court-house on the public square to the citizens of 
the town; all of which was duly performed. The citizens ol 
Woodstock bought the lot and the hotel of Miss McMahon for 
$3,000 and, in turn the old court-house was made over to them. 
The latter building, however, was destroyed by an incendiary fire 
in 1858. 

Messrs. Coon and Donnelly, of the above mentioned special 
committee, conferred with Judge Wilson in relation to plans fjr a 
county building, then visited Chicago and obtained drawings and 
specifications from Yan Osdel and Baumann, architects. The cost 
of a building according to their design was estimated at less than 
$34,000; but, as it proved, the estimate was too low. The Board 
of Supervisors, however, thought that the sum named was greater 
than ought to be expended, and at a meeting held Sept. 14, 1S55, 
instructed the committee to obtain other plans and specifications. 
But at a special session of the board, Nov. 20, 1855, the committee 
reported back the same plan and specifications as the best they 
could obtain, alleging among other reasons that as good a building 
as the county required and ought to have could not be obtained for 
less money. The report of the committee was adopted with but 
one dissenting vote, and the board adopted the proposed plans for the 
building by a vote of twelve to two. The plan called for a building 
of brick and stone, two stories above the basement, the whole to be 
forty-four feet square with four end projections and the structure 
surmounted by a cupola and dome. Sealed proposals for its con- 
struction were to be received until Jan. 21, 1856, the work to be 
commenced on or before July 1, 1856, and completed by Oct. 1, 

- =7p 


1857. Messrs. Donnelly, Kasson and Goodsell were appointed the 
building committee. 

The contract for the brick, stone-masons', plasterers' and stone- 
cutters' work was awarded to George Hebard & Son, of Marengo, 
their price being $18,000. For a like amount Russell C. Mix and 
James A. Hinds, of Aurora, agreed to do all the carpentry, joiners', 
glaziers' and iron work. The workmen performed their contract 
in a thorough manner, and the special committee who supervised 
the construction of the building attended to their duties with dili- 
gence and faithfulness. The building was completed on time. Its 
entire cost was not far from $47,000. 


McHenry County was without a county farm until the year 1884, 
although the care of paupers has always been among the principal 
matters requiring official attention. The project of purchasing a 
poor farm was discussed by the Board of Supervisors as far back 
as 1851, and there has been discussion upon the subject by the 
people and the press ever since. In 1859 an act of the Legislature 
was secured authorizing the people of McHenry County to set 
apart from the funds devoted from the sale of swamp lands a suffi- 
cient amount to purchase a farm of not more than 100 acres and make 
the necessary buildings and improvements thereon; provided that 
at the next spring election a majority of the legal voters should vote 
to comply with this law. The question was submitted and the pro- 
visions of the bill defeated by an overwhelming majority. Thence- 
forth the county went on as before, each town caring for its own 
poor, according to a special act relating to paupers in Bureau and 
McHenry connties, approved Feb. 10, 1853. And now that the 
county has a farm, each town is still at liberty to support its poor 
in the way that is best and cheapest, whether at the farm or 

In 1884 the Board of Supervisors voted to appropriate $25,000 
for the purpose of purchasing a farm and making the necessary 
buildings and improvements. To raise the money the county 
issued five per cent, bonds. The committee appointed to select a 
farm, after examining several, made choice of the J. C. Allen farm, 
near Kishwaukee, in the town of Hartland. This farm contains 
113 acres, and was purchased by the county for $6,000. The 
remainder of the appropriation will be expended in buildings and 
improvements under the direction of the board. "Work is now in 



progress and it is expected that the poor house will be ready for 
occupants by the close of the present year. 


In 1837 the county assessor was paid $2 per day; county com- 
missioners, $2.50. 

In June, 1838, the commissioners fixed the rates of compensa- 
tion for jurors, both grand and petit, at 75 cents per day. 

The total tax assessed in the county (which then included Lake) 
for 1838 was $564.41. 

The work of assessing the county for 1842 cost $102. 

In 1843 the county revenue amounted to $793.14. 

The first justices of the peace in Fox Precinct, and consequently 
the first in the county, were Wm. H. Buck and ¥m. L. Way, 
elected July 3, 1837. 




McHenry County Industrially Oonsideeed. — Agriculture. — 
Advantages Afforded to Stock Raisers. — The Beginning and 
Growth of the Cheese-Making Industry. — The Dairy Inter- 
est. — Mc Henry County Agricultural Society. — Railroads. — 
Official Register. — Roster of Legislative, Civil and Judicial 
Officers from 1837 to 1884. — Political History. — Statistics. 
— Vote for President. — Valuation of the County. — Popula- 
tion. — Manufacturing Statistics. 

The chief industries of McHenry County are agriculture, dairy- 
ing and grazing. Having no large cities or towns, the county is 
the seat of few manufacturing industries other than such as are 
usually found in agricultural districts. As a farming region, it 
ranks among the best in the State. Possessing the advantages of 
a good climate, a soil of inexhaustible fertility, close proximity 
to the markets of Chicago, and excellent railroad facilities, the 
county has already attained such a degree of agricultural develop- 
ment as is seldom found in a country comparatively new. Its 
wealth and prosperity are steadily and rapidly increasing. "When 
we consider that but half a century ago the red men were the sole 
occupants of these lands which now support one of the most flour- 
ishing communities in the West, we may well be astonished at the 
wonderful results which time and intelligent industry have wrought. 
In many sections of our country lands which have been occupied 
by white inhabitants twice and thrice as long exhibit not one-half 
of the improvements and substantial evidences of real prosperity 
that McHenry County can show. Nature did much for this region, 
and a thrifty and progressive people have admirably co-operated 
with her efforts. Farms, buildings and improvements of every 
kind are of unusual excellence in this county. Numerous towns 
and villages scattered over the county furnish abundant and con- 
venient trading points and home markets, while unexcelled educa- 






tional and religious privileges combine to render the lot of the 
McRenry County farmer a most fortunate one. 

The soil is adapted to every variety of products usually grown 
in northern latitudes. All the cereals, and especially corn, oats 
and wheat, thrive well and yield good returns to the agriculturist. 
The soil is also favorable to the production of fruits and vegetables. 
There is little untillable land, and everywhere the farmer is 
reasonably sure of adequate returns for his labor. The State con- 
tains no better or more productive grain-growing region. 

The stock and dairy interests of the county are fast assuming an 
importance which bids fair to transcend all others. The very best 
of pasturage and excellent water supplies everywhere abound. 
The famous blue grass, so common in the South, is here indigenous 
and thrives luxuriantly. These facts have led the leading farmers 
to turn their attention largely to stock-raising and dairying, while 
at the same time they continue to give a good share of their atten- 
tion to the production of hay, cereals, fruits and vegetables. The 
dairy interests are discussed further on in this chapter, but a few 
words relating to stock and grazing may appropriately be given 

In view of the unsurpassed facilities for carrying on this indus- 
try profitably, the farmers of the county long since engaged in 
raising cattle for the market. Of late years, the importance of 
improving the breeds of stock has received general attention, until 
now choice herds of Holsteins, Alderneys and Herefords can be 
seen in all parts of the county. The combining of the stock and 
dairy interests has been attended with most satisfactory results, 
and both branches of the business are fast increasing. 

The raising of fruits and vegetables is fast becoming one of the 
industries of the county. The somewhat novel industry of pickle- 
growing and pickle-making here finds its fullest development. 
The rapid growth of the business shows that it is profitable. Details 
are elsewhere given. 


Until within the last quarter of a century cheese making in Illi 
nois was of small importance. No cheese was made for exporta- 
tion; in fact, the article was not produced at all, except in large 
dairies. Factories were unknown, and the markets of the State 
were supplied with Eastern products. The "Western farmer had 
the best farming and grazing land in the country, as well as every 





facility for raising stock at less expense than the Eastern farmer; 
still dairying received little or no attention. Cattle were kept in 
great numbers, but they were shipped to the East for beef. Butter 
was made and shipped to a small extent; but so little care and 
skill was displayed in its manufacture that Western butter acquired 
an unenviable reputation in the markets. Most of the farmers 
were in debt and gave their attention to stock, considering that 
the speediest means of raising funds. As in all newly settled 
countries, grains and stock received almost exclusive attention, 
and manufactures were discouraged. As to cheese, it was urged 
that only an inferior quality could bs .made in the West; that the 
milk did not contain the necessary ingredients; that the grnss, soil 
and climate were not suitable. But all these theories have been 
proved false again and again since the farmers went to work with 
intelligence and understanding and gave to dairy business the 
attention which its importance deserved. 

Before 1866 there was not a cheese factory in McHenry County. 
In 1867 there were eight in operation, and the number has contin 
ually increased. The business at first met with considerable oppo- 
sition. There was a lack of confidence among stockholders as to 
profits; and there was also great difficulty in obtaining employes 
possessing the qualifications of experience and adaptation to the 

The cheese was generally made for those furnishing the milk at 
a stipulated price per pound, either two and a half or three cents. 
The proprietors of the factories furnished the other materials, mak- 
ing and storing for a specified time. At the expiration of the time 
agreed upon the owners of the cheese either took it, to dispose ot 
themselves, or allowed the manufacturers to sell it on commission. 

The cheese factories in operation in 1867 were : 

The Richmond Factory, the pioneer establishment of the county, 
built in the spring of 1866 by Dr. R. R. Stone and Wm. A. 
McConnell; a two-story building, 30 x 112 feet, with an addition. 
The first cheese was made May 18, 1866. 

The Hebron Factory, built in the spring of 1866 by R. W. and 
W. H. Stewart; a two-story frame building, 30x55 feet — enlarged 
the second year. 

The Huntley Factory, started in 1866 by A. A. Blanchard and 
A. Wood worth. 

The Marengo Factory, started in 1867 by Anson Sperry and R. 
M. Patrick. 



q ^ 





The Greenwood Factory, 1867; A. 0. Thompson and Geo. 
Abbott, proprietors. 

The Union Factory, 1867; Hungerford & Durkee, proprietors. 

The Woodstock Factory, 1867; G. DeClercq, proprietor. 

The Riley Factory, built in 1867 by P. B. Merrill, E. Graves and 
Leonard Parker. 

The amount of milk used and the number of pounds of cheese 
made by the above factories during the year 1867 is thus given in 
the Woodstock Sentinel: 












40 000 

429 000 

In addition to the above there were a great many farmers in the 
county in 1867 who had dairies of from twenty to fifty cows and 
made cheese at home. 

The dairy interests have grown rapidly from the beginning. 
The county now contains fifty-three cheese factories and creameries, 
and numerous large dairies. The shipping of milk to Chicago is 
carried on extensively and with great profit to dairymen. This 
branch of the dairy business is also comparatively new, but its 
growth has been rapid, and it is now one of the chief industries of 
the county. Every railroad station in the county sends its daily 
quota of milk to feed the great city. 

At the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, J. S. Watrous, of the 
town of Nunda, placed on exhibition samples of butter made at his 
factory — the Eidgefield Crystal Spring Factory. The exhibit was 
awarded a gold medal for its superior qualities — a result particu- 
larly gratifying to McHenry County dairymen, when it is consid 
ered that not only the„old States of the East were competitors for 
the honor, but also all sections of the country and Canada. 

The dairy statistics of 1877, together with those of 1883, are 
given below, and fully illustrate the rapidity of the growth of this 
interest in this county: 



Number of cows kept ' 


805 833 







Amt. of butter sold, pounds 


" cheese sold, pounds. .. . 


" milk sold. <r>illons 

. ff 



6 "" . 

■• a 





McHenry County Agricultural Society was organized in 1852. 
Captain "William H. Stewart and Colonel J. M. Strode were ap- 
pointed on the committee of organization, but most of the work 
fell on Captain Stewart, who drafted the constitution and by-laws 
and was the prime mover in the laudable enterprise. He was the 
first Secretary and Treasurer, and has much of the time since held 
one or other of their offices. William M. Jackson was the first 
president, and was quite energetic in advancing the interests of 
the society. It remained as au agricultural society till 1874, when 
it availed itself of the privileges offered by the Sfate, and since 
then has borne the name of Agricultural Board of McHenry 
County. For several years after its organization the society held 
itsfairs in the streets or on the commons in different villages in 
the county, wherever the greatest conveniences were found. They 
built rail pens to hold the stock, and rented a room to exhibit the 
fine arts in. At first the receipts were small, but the society grew 
stronger as the connty became richer, and in 1859 it was enabled 
to purchase teu acres of land, which now forms a part of the fair 
grounds east of Woodstock. They built sheds for stock, and with- 
out many conveniences carried on the fair from year to year with 
considerable success till 1866, when they organized a life member- 
ship, with an admittance fee of $20. Over 100 names were added 
to this list, which raised sufficient funds to enlarge the grounds 
and procure better accommodations, which was done by purchasing 
five acres adjoining on the south and erecting the agricultural' 
hall, observatory, ticket office, etc. 

About the year 1868 the society purchased seven acres adjoining 
its grounds on the north. This makes a commodious show ground 
of twenty-two acres. There is a fine half-mile track, and some of 
the largest fairs in the State are held here. Receipts for the past 
five years have reached $4,000. Present officers: T. McD. 
Richards, President; A. S. Wright, Secretary; Captain Bowen, 
Treasurer. Every year noted speakers, both from home and 
abroad, are engaged by the enterprising managers of the exhibi- 
tion, constituting an extraordinary attraction to visitors. 


The importance of railroads in adJing to the growth and pros- 
perity of any community has become well understood by every- 


body. McHenry County was fortunate enough to be supplied 
with a railroad among the earliest built in Northern Illinois, and 
to-day her railroad facilities are unsurpassed by any exclusively 
rural county in the State. 

Every village of importance is located upon a railroad, and 
every township in the county is either crossed by one or more 
railroad lines or has one in close proximity to its borders. 

The years 1854, 1855 and 1856 were eventful ones in the annals 
of McHenry County, for they witnessed the completion of three 
railroads through the county. First came the Galena & Chicago 
Union Railroad in 1854. It is now the Galena division of the 
Chicago & Northwestern Railway, and has stations in McHenry 
County at Huntley, Union and Marengo. In June, 1855, the 
Chicago, St. Paul & Fond du Lac Railroad reached "Woodstock, and 
the following year it was completed to Harvard, and rapidly built 
on to its northwestern terminus. It is now the Wisconsin division 
of the Chicago & Northwestern, with stations in this county at 
Carey, Nunda, Ridgefield, Woodstock, Kishwaukee, Harvard and 
Lawrence. It crosses the county from the southeast to the 

While the above road was building, another, known as the Fox 
River Valley, was in progress through the eastern part of the 
county, crossing it from north to south. It is now known as the 
Elgin & State Line Railroad, a branch ot the Chicago & North- 
western. The principal stations in the county on this line are 
Algonquin, Nunda, or Crystal Lake, McHenry and Richmond. 

Lastly, the Kenosha & Rockford Railroad, crossing the north- 
ern part of the county, was built in 1861-'2. It is also a part of 
the Northwestern, and has stations at Hebron, Alden, Harvard 
and Chemung. v 



From 1831 to 1843 the State had but three congressional dis- 
tricts. After McHenry was formed it was included in the Third 
Congressional District until 1843. From that date until 1852 the 
Fourth District comprised Lake, McHenry, Boone, Cook, Kane, 
DeKalb, Du Page, Kendall, Grundy, La Salle, Will, Iroquois, Liv- 
ingston, McLean, Champaign, Vermillion and Bureau. From 1852 
to 1861, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Jo Da- 

-» s 

^ — - - — *\t 


viess, Carroll and Ogle constituted the First Congressional District. 
From 1861 to 1872 the Second District was composed of Lake Mc- 
Henry, Boone, Winnebago, DeKalb and Kane. From 1872 to 1882 
the Fourth District was composed of Kane, DeKalb, McHenry, 
Boone and Winnebago. The Fifth Congressional District now com- 
prises Lake, McHenry, Boone, De Kalb and Kane. 

The following gentlemen have represented the district in which 
McHenry was included: 

John T. Stuart, 1839-'43; John Wentworth, 1843-'51; Eichard 
S. Molony, 1852-^3; Elihu B. Washburn, 1853-'63; John F. 
Farnsworth, 1863-'73; Stephen A. Hurl but, 1873-'7; William 
Lathrop, 1877-'9; John C. Slier win, 1879-'81; Reuben Ell wood 


1338-'40.— Ebenezer Peck; James H. Woodworth, viae Peck, re- 
signed, for Cook, Will, Du Page and McHenry counties. 

1840-'2.— John Pearson, for Cook, Will, Du Page, Lake and 

1842-'4.— Ira Minard, for Kane, McHenry, Boone and De Kalb; 
John Pearson, for Cook, Will, Du Page, Lake and McHenry. 

1844-'6— Ira Minard, for Kane, McHenry, Boone and De Kalb. 

1846-'8.— Elijah Wilcox, for Kane, McHenry, Boone and De 

From 1848 to 1854 McHenry, Boone and Winnebago composed 
the Twenty-fourth Senatorial District, which had the following 

1848-'50.— Alfred E. Ames, of Winnebago. 

1850-'2.— Thomas B. Talcott, Winnebago 

1852-'4. —Thomas B. Talcott, Winnebago. 

From 1854 until after the appointment of 1861, Lake and Mc- 
Henry constituted the Second Senatorial District- 

1854-'6. — George Gage, of McHenry. 

1856-8. — George Gage, McHenry. 

1858-'60.— Henry W. Blodgett, Lake. 

1860-'2.— Henry W. Blodgett, Lake. 

Under the appointment of 1861 and until 1872 McHenry County 
was in the Twenty-third Senatorial District, which also included 
Winnebago, Boone and Lake. 

1862-'4. — Cornelius Lansing, McHenry. 

1864-'6. — Cornelius Lansing, McHenry. 

1 9 




1866-'8.— Allen G. Fuller, Boone. 

1868-'70.— Allen C. Fuller, Boone. 

1870-'2.— Allen C. Fuller, Boone; John Early, Winnebago. 

The appointment of 1872 constituted McHenry and Lake the 
Eighth Senatorial District. 

1872-'4.— Clark W. Upton, Lake. 

1874-'6.— Clark W. Upton, Lake. 

1876-'S.— Merritt L. Joslyn, Mcllenry. 

1878-'80. —Merritt L. Joslyn, Mcllenry. 

1880-'4.— George Kirk, Lake. 

In 1882, Lake, McHenry and Boone were made the Eighth Sen- 
atorial District. 


1838-'40. — Gholson Kercheval, Eichard Murphy, Joseph Naper, 
for Cook, Will and McHenry. 

1840-'2. — Albert G. Leary, Richard Murphy, Ebenezer Peck, for 
Cook, Will and McHenry. 

1842-'4. — Wm. M. Jackson, for Kane, McHenry, Boone and De 
Kalb; Henry Madden, for Boone, De Kalb, Kane, McHenry and 

1844-'6. — Wm. M. Jackson, E. G. Jewell, James L. Loop, for 
Kane, McHenry, Boone and De Kalb. 

1846-'8. — James Herrington, George W. Ketsinger, James T. 
Pierson, for Kane, McHenry, Boone and De Kalb. 

Under the Constitution of 1848 until the next appointment, 
Boone and McHenry formed the Fifty-second Representative Dis- 
trict, entitled to two Representatives. 

1848-'50.— John F. Gray, McHenry; Selby Leach, Boone. 

1850-'2.— A. H. Nixon, McHenry; George Gage, Mcllenry. 

1852-'4.— A. H. Nixon, McHenry, H. 0. Miller, Boone. 

The apportionment of 1854 constituted Boone and McHenry 
the Fifty-fourth District, entitled to two Representatives. 

18.')4-'6. — S. W. Lawrence, Boone; W. Diggins, McHenry. 

1856-'8.— L. S. Church, McHenry; Stephen A. Hurlbut, Boone. 

1858-'60.— L. S. Church, McHenry; Stephen A. Hurlbut, Boone. 

I860- '2.— L. S. Church, McHenry; Stephen A. Hurlbut, Boone. 

The apportionment of 1861 made McHenry the Fifty-fourth Dis- 
trict, entitled to one Representative. 

1862-'4.— Thaddeus B. Wakeman. 

1864-'6.— Merritt L. Joslyn. 



1866-'8.— Thaddeus B. Wakeman. 

1868-'70.— Peter W. Deitz. 

In 1870 McHenry was made the Ninety-third District and given 
two Representatives: 

1870-'2.— Wm. A. McConnell, Ira R. Curtiss. 

By the apportionment of 1872 McHenry and Lake became the 
Eighth District, entitled to three Representatives: 

1872-'4.— Richard Bishop, McHenry; Flavel K. Granger, Mc- 
Henry; Elisha Gridley, Lake. 

1874-'6.— Wm. A. James, Lake; Elijah M. Haines, Lake; 
Flavel K. Granger, McHenry. 

1876-'8.— Flavel K. Granger, McHenry; "Wm. A. James, Lake; 
Edward M. Dennis, Lake. 

1878-'80.— Flavel K. Granger, McHenry; Wm. A. James, 
Lake; Wm. Price, Lake. 

1880-'2. — Orson 0. Diggins, McHenry; James Thompson, Mc- 
Henry; James Pollock, Lake. 

In 1882, Lake, McHenry and Boone became the Eighth District. 

1882-'4.— Charles H. Tryon, McHenry; Elijah M. Haines, Lake; 
Chas. Fuller, Boone. 


1867-8. — Twenty-third Senatorial District, James Y. Cory, of 

1868-'72.— Wm. A. McConnell, of McHenry; C. O. Parsons, 
vice McConnell, resigned. 

1872-'6. — Fourth Congressional District, Orson C. Diggins, of 

1876-'80.— Henry E. Hunt, of Kane. 

1880-'4.— Samuel Alden, of De Kalb. 


Convention of 1847— John Sibley, Peter W. Deitz, McHenry; 
Stephen A. Hurlbut, McHenry and Boone. 

Convention of 1862 — Wm. M. Jackson, Luther W. Lawrence, 
Boone and McHenry. 

Convention of 1870 — Lawrence S. Church, McHenry. 


John Pearson, 1837-'41; Theophilus W. Smith, 1841-'3; Richard 

M. Young, 1843-'7; Jesse B. Thomas, 1847-'8; Hugh Henderson, 

\; 1849-'51; Isaac G. Wilson, 1851-'61; Allen C. Fuller, 1861; T. 




D. Murphy, 1862-'78; Clark W.Upton, 1878-'82; .Charles Kel- 
lum, 1882-'4. 


Seth Washburn, 1837; Archimedes Burr Wynkoop, 1838-'9; 

Isaac G. Wilson, 1839; Joel H. Johnson, 1840; , 1841- 3; 

Joel H. Johnson, 1843-'56; Geo. T. Kasson, 1856-'61; Chas. H. 
Kussell, 1861-4; Joseph Dwight, 1864-'8; J. M. South worth, 
1869-72; Austin Badger, 1873-'6; Erastus E. Richards, 1877-84. 


Henry B. Steele, 1837-'9; Andrew B. Cornish, 1839; Chris- 
topher Walkup, 1840-'3; Henry M. Wait, 1843-'6; Thomas M. 
White, 1846-'9; Neill Donnelly, 1849-'51; John Brink, 185 1-'3; 
Carlisle Hastings, 1853-'5; G. W. Bentley, 1855-'7; John Eddy, 
1857; E. E. Thomas, 1858-'60; Lewis Ellsworth, 1860-'2; B. F. 
Church, 1862-'4; E. E. Thomas, 1864-'6; J. M. South worth, 
1867-'9; Austin Badger, 1869-'73; Malachi Church, 1873-7; 
Daniel A. Stedman, 1877-81; Malachi Church, 1881-'3; Asad 
Ddell, 1883-'5. 


Alonzo Huntington, 1837-'40; Edward G. Began, 1841-'3; 
James Curtiss, 1843-'4; Wm. A. Boardman, 1845-'9; Alonzo 
Piatt, 1849; P. W. Piatt, 1850-'51; Amos B. Coon, 1852; M. M. 
Boyce, 1853-'7; Edward S. Joslyn, 1857-'61; Amos B. Coon, 
1861-'3; M. M. Boyce, 1864-'9; Charles Kellnm, 1870-'3; Joseph 
P. Cheever, 1873-'6; Ira R Curtiss, 1877-'84. 


Hamilton Dennison, 1837; Joseph Wood, 1837-'9; Ziba S. 
Beardsley, 1839-'43; Joel H. Johnson, 1843-'8; Eaos W. Smith, 
1848-'53; Elam M. Lamb, 1853-'8; Wm. H. Stewart, 1858-'61; 
Elam M. Lamb, 1862-'5; M. D. Hoy, 1865-72 ; Peter Whitney, 
1873-'82; William Avery, 1882. 


Amory Thomas, 1839; Andrew J. Barnam, 1840; Joel H. 
Johnson, 1841-'2; E. J. Smith, 1843-'8; L. Joslyn, 1848-'9; 
Joseph Golder, 1849-'54; J. M. Strode, 1854-7; T. D. Murphy, 
1858-'61; Wm. Kerr, 1862-'6; L. S. Church, 1867-'9; B. N. 
Smith, 1870-'82; O. H. Gillmore, 1882. 

-— - — »k 


Until the adoption of the Constitution of 1848, the county judge 
had jurisdiction only in matters of probate, and was denominated 
"probate justice of the peace." 


Andrew S. Wells, 1837-'-; Lewis G. Shanks, 1838-'9; Thomas 
E. Chunn, 1840; S. S'. Greenleaf, 1843; Peter La Dow, 1843-'7; 
Joseph Golder, 1847; Geo. W. Dana, 1848-'9; James T. Pierson 
1849- '51; Charles McClure, 1851-'3; Gilbert B. Drake, 1853-'5; 
Abel W. Fuller, lS55-'6; Samuel Richardson, 1857-8; Wm. 
Hart, Jr., 1859-'62; Fred J. Mansfield, 1863-'6; Alex. S. Stewart, 
1867-74; James Nish, 1875-'84. 


1837. — Charles Ii. Bartlett (resigned, September term, 1837), 
Matthias Mason, Solomon Norton ; Samuel Sherman, December, 

1838. — Solomon Norton, Ransom Steele, Wm. Jackson. 

1839.— B. B. Brown, Gideon Colby, Robt. G. White. 

1840.— B. B. Brown, R. G. White, Daniel W. P. Tower. 

1841.— R. G. White, D. W. P. Tower, Hosea B. Throop. 

1842.— D. W. P. Tower, H. B. Throop, Bela H. Tryon. 

1843.— H. B. Throop, B. H. Tryon, Andrew J. Hayward. 

1844.— Same as in 1843. 

1845.— H. B. Throop, A. J. Hayward, Wm. A. McConnell. 

1846.— H. B. Throop, Wm. A. McConnell, Carlisle Hastings. 

1847. — Wm. A. McConnell, Carlisle Hastings, Dexter Barrows. 

1848.— Same. 


C. E. Moore, 1837; A. S. Barnam, 1838-'42; John Brink, 1842- 
'52; T. McD. Richards, 1853-'6; John Brink, 1857-84. 


Michael C. McGuire, 1837; A. B. Cornish, 1838-'9; B. F. Bos- 
worth, 1840-'l; Nathaniel Smith, 1842-'3; Nei 11 Donnelly, 1844-'5; 
M. L. Huffman, 1846-'7; Jesse Slavins, 1848-'51; Wm. Pratt, 
1852-'4; C. H. Shapley, 1855-'7; Wm. G. Smith, 1858-'9; B. A. 
Wade, 1860-'l; P. W. Murphy, 1862-'3; David Blair, 1864-'5 ; D. 
P. Conklin, 1866-'7.4 ; J. W. Groesbeck, 1874-'6 ; W. E. Smith, 
1876 ; John S. Cummings, 1877-'8; Howard L. Pratt, 1878 ; Wm. 
W. Cook, 1879-'84. 

i 1 

,l« — ePv 


- — »t», 



Until within recent years this office was known as that of school 
commissioner. Carlisle Hastings, in 1841, was the first to be 
chosen to the office. He served three years, and was succeeded 
by Peter W. Deitz, 1843-'5; Major F. Irwin, 1845-'7; Phineas W. 
Piatt, 1847-'9; Rev. R. K. Todd, 1849-'54; M. F. Hutchinson, 
1854-'5; Asa W. Smith, 1855-'9; Alvin Brown, 1859-'61 ; Theodore 
Mead, 1861-'3 ; Thomas R. Ercanbrack, 1863-'5 ; Adoniram J. 
Kingman, 1865-'9 ; Gardner S. Southworth, 1869-73 ; William 
Nickle, 1873-'7 ; Albert W. Young, 1877-'81 ; S. D. Baldwin, 
1882-'3 (died 1883) ; H. R. Baldwin, 1883-'4. 


1850. — The first Board of Supervisors met at the court-house in 
Woodstock, Nov. 11, 1850. The following were present : Che- 
mung, Jas.t). Thompson ; Byron, Cyras Allen ; Marengo, Amos 
B. Coon ; Riley, Ira E. Searls ; Seneca, Calvin Pike ; Hartland 
Alonzo Golder; Alden Andrew Easton ; Hebron, Josiah H. Gid- 
dings*; Greenwood, Joseph N. Barber ; Centre, Elzaphan J. 
Smith ; Algonquin, Elias A. Thomas ; Brooklyn, Wm. Salisbury; 
Richmond, Chas. IT. Russell; Benton, SylvanusS. Stillson ; Coral, 
Charles Crego ; Grafton, Thomas S. Huntley; McHenry, Alex. 
H. Nixon. 

1851. — Dunham, Cyrus Allen ; Nunda, Horace Burton ; Ma- 
rengo, Amos B. Coon; Alden, John Freeman; Hartland, Alonzo 
Golder; Hebron, Oliver H P. Gookin; Chemung, Wm. Hart, Jr.; 
Greenwood, Pliny Hayward; Seneca, U. T. Hyde; Dorr, Merritt 
L. Joslyn; Barton, Darius Kingsley; Grafton, Alpheus Kenny; 
McHenry, Abraham Reynolds*; Richmond, Chas. H. Russell; 
Riley, Ira A. Searls; Algonquin, Elias A. Thomas; Coral, James 
M. White. 

1852. — Dunham, Cyrus Allen; Nunda, Horace Burton; Alden, 
N. M. Capron ; Chemung, Wesley Diggins ; Greenwood, Pliny 
Hayward ; Woodstock, Alvin Judd ; Burton, Darius Kingsley; 
Dorr, Joseph F. Lyon; Algonquin, Myron P. Potter; McHenry, 
Abraham Reynolds*; Hartland, Henry T. Rice ; Riley, Sam. 
Richardson ; Seneca, Thos. McD. Richards; Marengo, Daniel 
Stewart; Hebron, Charles H. Tryon; Grafton, S. T.Thompson. 

1853. — Riley, Jesse Fellows; Marengo, Daniel Stewart; Dun- 

* Chairman. 


« •- 


ham, H. C. Chandler; Chemung, Wesley Diggins; Alden, 
Andrew Easton; Hartland, Henry T. Rice; Seneca, T. McD. 
Richards; Coral, Aneon Rogers; Grafton W. S. Robb; Dorr, O. 
A. Hitchcock; "Woodstock, A. Judd*; Greenwood, Ira Slocumb; 
Hebron, A. Coggswell; Richmond, John Sibley; Burton, Alfred 
Stephens; McHenry, A. H. Nixon; Nunda, E. M. Lamb; Algon- 
quin, J. F. Miller. 

1854. — Riley, Joseph Patterson; Dunham, Henry C. Chandler; 
Alden, Newton M. Capron; Coral, John Eddy; Dorr, George H. 
Griffin; Greenwood, Chas. M. Goodsell; Richmond, Wm. A. 
McConnell* ; McHenry, A. H. Nixon; Marengo, Alexander Keeler; 
Chemung, C.R.Brown; Seneca, Geo. T. Kasson; Grafton, San- 
ford Haight; Woodstock, Enos W. Smith; Hebron, Chas. H. 
Tryon; Burton, John Sanborn; Nunda, J. R. Mack; Hartland, 
Henry T. Rice. 

1855. — Riley, Sam'l Richardson; Marengo, Amos B. Coon; 
Dunham, J. Wells; Chemung, C. R. Brown; Alden, Stephen 
Alberty; Hartland, Henry T. Eice; Seneca, Geo. T. Kasson; 
Coral, Anson Rogers; Grafton, Chauncy Pendleton; Dorr, Nathan 
Jewett; Woodstock, Neill Donnelly; Greenwood, Chas. M. Good- 
sell; Hebron, Win. H. Stewart; Richmond, John Sibley*; Bur- 
ton, John Sanborn; McHenry, P. E. Cassidy; Nunda, Wm. 
Salisbury; Algonquin, Warren Stannard. 

1856. — Riley, Samuel Richardson*; Dunham, Jonathan Wells; 
Alden, A. D. Stark; Seneca, U. T. Hyde; Grafton, Charles Hub- 
bard; Greenwood, Charles M. Goodsell; Richmond, John Sibley; 
McHenry, John W. Smith; Algonquin, Jesse F. Miller; Marengo, 

Wm. Edwards; Chemung, Wesley Diggins; Hartland, 

McFarland; Coral, John Eddy; Dorr, Chas. M. Willard; Hebron, 
Josiah H. Giddings; Burton, John Sanborn; Nunda, J. Butler; 
Woodstock, Neill Donnelly. 

1857. — Riley, Sam'l Richardson; Marengo, Peter W. Dcitz ; 

Dunham, Jonathan Wells; Chemung, Hutchinson; Alden, 

Aaron D. Starkf; Hartland, Andrew Hood; Seneca, U. T. Hyde; 
Coral, James M. White; Grafton, E. P. Hayden; Dorr, M. W. 
Hunt; Woodstock, M. B. Baldwin; Greenwood, Stephen G. Brit- 
tain; Hebron, Josiah Giddings; Richmond, John Sibley*; Burton, 
Richard Wray; McEenry, Richard Bishop; Nunda, James 
McMillen; Algonquin, Jesse F. Miller. 

1858. — Riley, M. Butterfield; Marengo, Peter W. Deitz; Marengo 

♦Chairman. fDied Feb. 3, 1858. 


Tillage, Geo. Hebbard; Dunham, Cvrus Allen; Chemung, Thomas 
Paul; Alden, Stephen Alberty; Hartland, Andrew Hood; Seneca 
Q rrett W. Deitz; Coral, ¥m. M. Jackson*; Grafton, Thomas S 
Huntley; Dorr, Wm. H. Murphy; Woodstock, M. W. Hunt; 
Greenwood, S. G. Britton; Hebron, Alphonso Tyler; Eichmond, 
C. H.Russell; Burton, Richard Wray; McHenry, Richard Bishop; 
Nunda, C. W. Huff; Algonquin, Jesse F. Miller. 

1859. — Riley, M. Buttertield; Marengo, A. B. Coon; Marengo 
V lage, Cos. Lansing*- Dunham, Cyrus Allen; Chemung, W. B. 
McArthur; Alden, Stephen Alberty; Hartland, Andrew Hood; 
Seneca, G.W. Deitz; Coral, Wm. Alden; Grafton, Adam S. Hunt- 
ley; Woodstock, M.W. Hunt; Dorr, Pasco Austin; unspecified, H. 
.Burton; Hebron, J. H Giddings; Richmond, A. P.Wells, 
Burton, Lewis Hatch; Greenwood, A. C. Thompson; McHenry, 
Richard Bishop; Nunda, C. W. Huff; Algonquin, E. A. Thomas. 
I860. — Marengo, A. B. Coon; Marengo Village, Cos. Lansing*; 
Dunham, Dexter Barrows; Chemung, W. B. McArthur; Alden, S. 
Alberty; Hartland, A. Hood; Seneca, O. Turner; Coral, S. R. 

Bartholomew; unspecified, Cummings-f-; Greenwood, I. Slo- 

cumb; Woodstock, Neill Donnelly; unspecified, Thompson; 

Hebron, Mead; Richmond, A P. Wells; Burton, Lewis 

Hatch; McHenry, Richard Bishop; Nunda, E. M. Lamb; Algon- 
quin, Klink; Riley, M. Butterfield. 

1861. — Riley, H Underwood; Marengo, A. B. Coon; Marengo 
Village, Cos. Lansing*; Dunham, D. Barrows; Chemung, W. B. 

McArthur; Alden, S. Alberty; Hartland, D. Sculley; Seueca, 

Parsons; Grafton, J. G. Templeton; unspecified, I. Slocumb; Dorr, 
M. L. Joslyn; Greenwood, J. Eckert; Richmond, A. P. Wells; 
Nunda, E. M. Lamb; Algonquin, James Nish; McHenry, Richard 
Bishop; Coral, S. R. Bartholomew. 

1862. — Riley, H. Underwood; Marengo, A. B. Coon; Dunham, 
Dexter Barrows; Chemung, W. B. McArthur; Alden, Stephen 

Alberty; Hartland, D. Sculley; Seneca, Parsons; Grafton, C. 

W. H. Card*; Greenwood, Ira Slocumb; unspecified, J. G. Temple- 
ton; unspecified, J. Eckert; unspecified, Hopkins; Richmond, 

A. P. Wells; McHenry, Richard Bishop; unspecified, Buck; 

Algonquin, James Nish; Dorr, M. L. Joslyn; Marengo Village, 
Cos. Lansing; Woodstock, A. S. Hanchet. 

1863— Riley, W.O. Nichols; Marengo, Peter W. Deitz; Dun- 
ham; B. A. Wade; Chemung, T. B. Wakeman; Alden, Stephen 

♦Obairman. fThe records are so incomplete that a full list cannot be found. 




Alberty; Hartland, Andrew Hood; Seneca, Uriah T. Hyde; Coral, 
Dan'l C. Thomas; Grafton, T. S. Huntley*; Dorr, M. L. Joslyn; 
Greenwood, Jacob Eckert; Hebron, C. S. Adams; Eichmond, 
Alfred P. Wells; Burton, Lewis Hatch; McHenry, Eichard Bishop; 
Nunda, Josiah Walkup; Algonquin, E. A.Thomas; "Woodstock, 
Wm. Kerr, Marengo Village, E. G. Hackley. 

1864. Coral, S. E. Bartholomew; Grafton, Stephen Burton; 

Burton, Eiihard Wray; Dorr, M. L. Joslyn; McHenry, Harrison 
C. Smith; Eiley, Henry Underwood; Marengo, Peter W. Deitz; 
Dunham, Dexter Barrows; Chemung, Chas. K. Brown; Alden, 
Stephen Alberty; Hartland, Andrew Hood; Seneca, Thomas M. - 
Hood; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, Charles S.Adams; 
Eichmond; James Bobbins; Nunda, Francis Harrison; Algonquin, 
E. A. Thomas*; "Woodstock, ¥m. Kerr; Marengo Village, W. H. 

Messick . 

1865. — Eiley, Henry Underwood; Marengo, Peter "W. Deitz*; 
Dunham, Dexter Barrows; Chemung, T. B. "Wakeman; Alden, 
Stephen Alberty; Hartland, Andrew Hood; Seneca, L. "W. Shel- 
don; Coral, S. K. Bartholomew; Grafton, Stephen Burton; Dorr, 
M. L. Joslyn; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, Chas. S. 
Adams; Eichmond, A. P. "Wells; Burton, Frank Cole; McHenry, 
Eichard Bishop; JSTunda, F. D. Patterson; Algonquin, J. F. 
Miller; "Woodstock, Wm. Kerr; Marengo Village, G. B. Adams. 

1866. — Eiley, Edward H. Skinner; Marengo, Peter "W. Deitz; 
Dunham, Cyrus Allen ; Chemung, T. B. "Wakeman ; Alden, 
Stephen Alberty; Hartland, Andrew Hood; Seneca, T. Bigelow; 
Coral, S.K. Bartholomew*; Grafton, Elias "Wanzer; Dorr, Wm. 
Kerr; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, Chas. S. Adams; 
Eichmond, Alfred P.^Wells; Bnrton, Eichard Wray; McHenry, 
Eichard Bishop; Eunda, F. D. Patterson; Algonquin, James 
Crow; Woodstock, L. S. Church; Marengo Village, G. B. Adams- 

1867. — Eiley, E. H. Skinner; Marengo, Peter W. Deitz; Dun- 
ham, Cyras Allen ; Chemung, J. C. Crumb; Alden, Stephen Al- 
berty; Hartland, Andrew Hood; Seneca, T. Bigelow; Coral, S. K. 
Bartholomew; Grafton, Elias Wanzer; Dorr, Elam M. Lamb; 
Greenwood, G. H. Garrison; Hebron, Chas. S.Adams; Eichmond, 
W. A. McConnell*; Burton, Eobt. Eichardson; McHenry, Eichard 
Bishop; Nunda, F. D. Patterson; Algonquin, John Gillil n ; 
Woodstock, E. M. Lamb; Marengo Village, G. B. Adams. 

1868.— Eiley, E. H. Skinner; Marengo, Peter W. Deitz; Dun- 

* Chairman. 


ham, Dexter Barrows; Chemung, J. C. Crumb; Hartland, Andrew 
Hood; Seneca, T. McD. Kichards; Coral, D. C. Thomas; Grafton 
Elias Wanzer; Dorr, M. L. Joslyn; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; 
Hebron, Charles S. Adams; Richmond, ¥m. A. McConnell*; Bur- 
ton, Robert Richardson; Nunda, F. J. Wheaton; Algonquin, John 
Gillilan; Woodstock, B. K Smith; Marengo Village, J. H. Bag- 
ley; Harvard, E. G. Ayer. 

1869.— Riley, E. H. Skinner; Marengo, Alex. D. Stewart; Dun- 
ham, Dexter Barrows; Chemung, J. C. Crumb; Hartland, Andrew 
Hood; Seneca, L. W. Sheldon; Coral, S. K. Bartholomew; Grafton, 
C. W. H. Card; Dorr, M. L. Joslyn; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garri- 
son; Hebron, Chas. S. Adams; Richmond, Wm. A. McConnell*; 
Burton, Lewis Hatch ; McHenry, David Salisbury ; Nunda, Josiah 
"Walkup; Algonquin, James Nish; Woodstock, M. D. Hoy; Har- 
vard, J. G. Crumb; Marengo Village, G. B. Adams. 

1870.— Alden, W. H. Groesbeck; Hartland, R. D. Cooney; 
Seneca, Chas. O. Parsons; Coral, S. K. Bartholomew; Grafton, 
Thomas S. Huntley; Dorr, Merritt L. Joslyn; Greenwood, Geo- 
H. Garrison; Hebron, Sam. W. Brown; Richmond, Wm. A. 
McConnell*; Burton, Robt. Richardson; McHenry, F. K. Granger; 
Nunda, James McMillan; Algonquin, James Crow; Riley, H. 
Underwood; jMarengo, A. D. Stewart; Marengo Village, G. B. 
Adams; Dunham, J. A.Wood; Harvard, R. Gardner; Woodstock, 
E. E. Richards. 

1871.— Alden, Wm. H. Groesbeck; Hartland, R. D. Cooney; 
Seneca, C. O. Parsons; Coral, S. K. Bartholomew; Grafton, T. S. 
Huntley; Dorr, M. L. Joslyn; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; 
Hebron, S. W. Brown; Richmond, W. A. McConnell*; Burton, 
Robt. Richardson; McHenry, F. K. Granger; Nunda, James 
McMillan; Algonquin, James JSTish; Riley, H. Underwood; Ma- 
rengo, A. D. Stewart; Marengo Village, Seth Lewis; Dunham, O. 
C Diggins; Chemung, J. C. Crumb; Harvard, R. Gardner; Wood- 
stock, E. E. Richards. 

1872.— Riley, Henry Underwood; Marengo, A. D. Stewart; 
Dunham, Orson C. Diggins; Chemung, J. C. Crumb; Alden, Wm. 
H. Groesbeck; Hartland, R. D. Cooney; Seneca, Thos. McD. 
Richards; Coral, S. K. Bartholomew; Grafton, James G. Temple- 
ton; Dorr, M. L. Joslyn; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, 
Sam. W. Brown; Richmond, Wm. A. McConnell*; Burton, Lewis 
Hatch; McHenry, F. R. Granger ; Nunda, Amos D. Whit ng; 
* Chairman. 

w ' — 

-» B *). 



Marengo "Village, M. Butterfield; Woodstock, L. H. Davis; Har- 
vard, A. E. Blake. 

1873. — Burton, Lewis Hatch; Marengo, Z. E. Goodrich; Dun- 
ham, O. G. Diggins; Chemung, Eobert Gardner; Alden, E. O. 
Southmayd; Hartland, Eoderick D. Cooney; Seneca, Charles O. 
Parsons; Coral, S. K. Bartholomew; Grafton, James G. Temple- 
ton; Dorr, Elam M. Lamb; Greenwood, Henry Eckert; Hebron, 
Chas. S. Adams; Eichmond, Wm, A. McConnell*; Burton, Lewis 
Hatch; McHenry, J. "W". Christy; Nunda, Albert H. Colby; Algon- 
quin, Edwin H. Benson; Marengo Village, M. Butterfield. For 
districts unspecified : H. W. Axtell, J. S. "Wheat. 

1874.— Eiley, H. N. Axtell; Marengo, Z. E. Goodrich; Dun- 
ham, 0- C. Diggins; Chemung, James Thompson; Alden, E. 0. 
Southmayd; Hartland, E. D. Cooney; Seneca, Orsamus Turner; 
Coral, S. K.Bartholomew; Grafton, Geo. Van Valkenburg; Dorr, 
Elam M. Lamb; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, Sam."W. 
Brown; Eichmond, Wm. A. McConnell*; Burton, J. H. Cooley; 
McHenry, J. W. Christy; Nunda, B. F. Peck; Algonquin, Edwin 
H. Benson. Unspecified : Henry Baker, M. Butterfield. 

1875.— Eiley, Ira E. Searls; Marengo, Z. E. Goodrich; Dun- 
ham, O. C. Diggins; Chemung, James Thompson; Alden, E. O. 
Southmayd; Hartland, E. D. Cooney; Seneca, C. O. Parsons; 
Coral, S. K. Bartholomew; Grafton, Geo. Van Valkenburg; Dorr, 
M. L. Joslyn; Greenwood, G. H. Garrison; Hebron, S. W. Brown; 
Eichmond, Wm. A. McConnell*; Burton, Jos. H. Cooley ; 
McHenry, J. W. Christy; Nunda, B. F. Peck; Algonquin, James 
Nish. Unspecified : S. S. Crandall, Henry Baker. 

1876. — Eiley, Ira E. Searls ; Marengo, Z. E. Goodrich; Dun- 
ham, O. C. Diggins*; Chemung, James Thompson; Alden, E. 0. 
Southmayd; Hartland, E.D. Cooney, Seneca, Chas. O. Parsons; 
Coral, Calvin Gilbert; Grafton, D. E. Wood; Dorr, M. L. Joslyn; 
Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, Sam. W. Brown; Eich- 
mond, Marcus Foote; Burton, Joseph H. Cooley; McHenry, John 
M. Smith; JSTunda, B. F. Peck; Algonquin, C. F. Dike. Un- 
specified: E. M. Patrick. 

1877. — Eiley, Ira E. Searls; Marengo, Z. E. Goodrich; Dunham, 
0. C. Diggins*; Chemung, James Thompson; Alden, Samuel Cut- 
ter; Hartland, E. D. Cooney; Seneca, C. O. Parsons; Coral, Lester 
Barber; Grafton, Geo. Van Valkenburg; Dorr, M. L. Joslyn; 
Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, Alfred Wilcox; Eich- 
* Chairman. 


, 4-— — 4: ■ 


mond, Marcus Foote; Burton, Kobt. Richardson; McHenry, J. W. 
Christy; Nunda, B. F. Peck; Algonquin, John Gillilan. Un- 
specified, R. M. Patrick. 

1878.— Riley, Henry Underwood; Marengo, Thos. W. Porter; 
Dunham, 0. 0. Diggine; Chemung, James Thompson ; Alden, 
Sam. Cutter; Hartland, ¥m. Conklin ; Seneca. C. O. Parsons; 
Coral, Lester Barber; Grafton, John S. Cummings; Dorr, M. L. 
Joslyn; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, A. Wilcox; Rich- 
mond, "W. A. McConnell*; Burton, Chauncy Sweet; McHenry, J. 
W. Christy; ISTunda, B. F. Peck; Algonquin, G. S. Frary. Un- 
specified: G. B. Adams, A. E. Axtell, Alfred Wilcox. 

1879. — Riley, Heury Underwood; Marengo, Z. E. Goodrich; 
Dunham, O. E. Diggins; Chemung, James Thompson; Alden, 
Samuel Cutter; Hartland, Win. G. Conklin; Seneca, C. 0. 'Par- 
sons; Coral, Lester Barber; Grafton, John S. Cummings; Dorr, 
Elatn M. Lamb; Greenwood, G. H. Garrison; Hebron, Alfred 
Wilcox; Richmond, W. A. McConnell*; Burton, Chauncy Sweet; 
McHenry, J. W. Christy; Nunda, B. F. Peck; Algonquin, G. S. 
Frary. Unspecified: J. R. Curtiss, A. E. Axtell. 

1880. — Riley, H. Underwood; Marengo, Z. E. Goodrich; Dun- 
ham, O. C. Diggins; Chemung, James Thompson; Alden, Sam. 
Cutter; Hartland, Wrn. G. Conklin ; Seneca, G. W. Goodrich ; 
Coral, Lester Barber; Grafton, Wm. G. Sawyer; Dorr, Elatn M. 
Lamb; Greenwood, G. H. Garrison; Hebron, Alfred Wilcox; 
Richmond, W. A. McConnell*; Burton, Lewis Hatch ; McHenry, 
J. W. Christy; Nunda, B. F. Peck; Al onquin, G. S. Frary. Un- 
specified: T. R. Curtiss; B. A. Wade. 

1881. — Riley, Amory Barber; Marengo, Z. E. Goodrich; Dun- 
ham, John Snowden; Chemung, H. S. Williams; Alden, Samuel 
Cutter; Hartland, Dan'l H. Flavin ; Seneca, G. W. Goodrich ; 
Coral, Lester Barber; Grafton, Wm. G. Sawyer; Dorr, Elam M. 
Lamb; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, Alfred Wilcox; 
Richmond, Wm. A. McConnell*; Burton, Ohas. Mead; McHenry, 
J. W. Christy; Nunda, Henry Keller; Algonquin, G. S. Frary. 
Unspecified: I. R. Curtiss. 

1882.— Riley, Amory Barber; Marengo, Z. E. Goodrich; Dun- 
ham, John Snowden; Chemung, H. S. Williams; Alden, Sam'l 
Cutter; Hartland, D. H. Flavin; Seneca, G. W. Goodrich; Coral, 
Lester Barber; Grafton, W. G. Sawyer; Dorr, Elam M. Lmb; 
Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, H. W. Mead ; Richmond, 

* Chairman. 

. - -» a \ 



"W. A. McConnell*; Burton, Fred. Hatch; McHenry, Joseph "W. 
Christy; Nunda, Henry Keller; Algonquin, G. S. Frary. Un- 
specified : I. E. Curtiss, Owen McGee. 

1883. — Riley, John Hadsall; Marengo, Ira B. Curtiss*; Dun- 
ham, John Suowden; Chemung, H. S.Williams; Alden, W. H. 
Groesbeck; Hartland, D, H. Flavin; Seneca, G. W. Goodrich; 
Coral, Lester Barber; Grafton, W. G. Sawyer; Dorr, Elam M. 
Lamb; Greenwood, G. H. Garrison; Hebron, H. W. Mead; Eich- 
mond, A. E. Alexander ; Burton, Arcbdale Wray ; McHenry, 
Eichard Bishop; Nuuda, Wm. Butler ; Algonquin, C. F. Dike. 
Unspecified: B. S. Parker. 

1884. — Eiley, John Hadsall; Marengo, Ira E. Curtiss*; Dun- 
ham, John Snowden; Chemung, H. S. Williams; Alden, W. H. 
Groesbeck; Hartland, D. H. Flavin; Seneca, G. W. Goodrich ; 
Coral, Lester Barber ; Grafton, W. G. Sawyer ; Dorr, Elam M. 
Lamb; Greenwood, Geo. H. Garrison; Hebron, H. W. Mead; 
Eichmond, A. E. Alexander ; Burton, Fred Hatch; McHenry, 
Eichard Bishop; Nunda, J. H. Palmer; Algonquin, C. F. Dike. 


At the first election held in this county, June 1, 1837, the whole 
number of votes cast was 115. The election was for county offi- 
cers, and it was held at the store of Hiram Kennicott, near Half 
Day, on the Desplaines Eiver, within the limits of the present 
county of Lake. 

In 1838 the county chose its first Eepresentative to the Legis- 
lature, electing Dr. Eichard Murphy, Democrat, over Giles Spring, 
Whig, by a considerable majority. The convention which nomi- 
nated the successful candidate was held on the first Monday in 
March, 1838. About sixty delegates were present, among whom 
were the following from McHenry County: Wm. M. Jackson, 
Proctor Smith, Wm. Sponable, Eussell Diggins, S. Canfield, Wm. 
A. McConnell and A. B. Coon. Of the entire number of delegates, 
but four are known to be living, two of whom, W. M. Jackson 
and A. B. Coon, were delegates from this county. 

The county was solidly Democratic from its infancy until 1856, 
when the impending crisis changed the majority to the Eepublican 
side, where it has since remained. 

In 1839, on a vote for county officers, the number of ballots 
cast was. 368 — showing a rapid growth in population in two 

* Chairman. 



The vote for presidential electors from 1844 to 1884 is given 

1844.— Polk, Dem., 668; Clay, Whig, 488; ,74. 

1848.— Cass, Dem., 1,096; Taylor, "Whig, 660; Van Buren, Free- 
soil, 1. (Some of the Democratic and Whig electors appear to 
have received more votes than others. The highest vote is that 
above given. The lowest was 1,015, Dem., and 528, Whig.) 

1852.— Pierce, Dem., 1,199; Scott, Whig, 866; Hale, Free-soil, 

1856. — Fremont, Rep., 2,869; Buchanan, Dem., 945 ; Fillmore, 
Know-nothing, 43. 

1860. — Lincoln, Rep., 3,033; Douglas, Dem., 1,444. 

1864.— Lincoln, Rep., 2,951 ; McClellan, Dem., 1,188. 

1868.— Grant, Rep., 3,296 ; Seymour, Dem., 1,380. 

1872.— Grant, Rep., 2,895 ; Greeley, Liberal, 1,080 ; O'Conor, 
Dem., 21*. 

1876.— Hayes, Rep., 3,465; Tilden, Dem., 1874; Cooper, Green- 
back, 34. 

1880.— Garfield, Rep., 3,516; Hancock, Dem., 1,799; Weaver, 
Greenback, 194. 


The following statistics will serve to illustrate the growth of the 
county in material resources from 1855 to 1880: 


Assessed value of real estate $2,821,508.00 

" " personal property 1,106,955.00 

railroads 197,566.00 

Total $6,947,537.00 



Neat cattle 

Mules and asses 

Carriages and wagons. . . . 

Clocks and watches 


Goods and merchandise. . 

Bankers' stock 

Manufactured articles. . . 

Moneys and credits 

Bonds, stocks, etc 

Unenumerated property. 


























-» s 






Assessed value of real estate 

" " personal property. 
" " railroads 


Total $3,733,039.17 




Neat cattle 

Mules and asses 



Carriages and wagons 

Clocks and watches 


Goods and merchandise 

Bankers' and brokers' stock. 

Manufactured articles 

Moneys and credits 

TJnenumerated articles 




















118 360.00 





Assessed value of real estate 

" " railroads 

" " personal property. 


Total $3,592,581 . 00 




Mules and asses. 

Carriages and wagons 

Clocks and watches 


Goods and merchandise 

Manufactured articles 

Moneys and credits 

Value of moneys in bonds, bank shares, etc. 
TJnenumerated property 


















7,108 00 








Assessed value of real estate $2,026,548.00 

" " railroads 391,663.00 

" " personal property 849,709.00 

" " town lots 348,279.00 

Total $3,616,199.00 








Mules and asses 



Carriages and wagons 
Clocks and watches.. 




















Assessed value of real estate f H£?'™'nn 

" personal property 'SSwS'nA 

" railroads 507,590.00 

Total $10,869,547.00 







Steam engines and boilers 

Fire and burglar proof safes 

Billiard and bagatelle tables 

Carriages and wagons 

Watches and clocks 

Sewing and knitting machines 


Melodeons and organs 


Steamboats and watercraft 


Manufacture d articles 

Manufactured tools and machinery 

Agricultural implements and machinery 

Plated ware 

Diamonds and jewelry 

Banki rs' and brokers' money, etc 


Money other than bankers' 


Bonds and stocks 

Shares in National banks 

Property of corporations not enumerated 

Hou-euold anil office property 

Investments in re il estate and improvements. 

Shares, stocks, State and National banks 

All other property 

Ti'tal assessed value unenumerated property. ■ 

















































. a 



Horses of all ages 

Cattle of all ages 

Mules and asses of all ages 



Steam engines including boilers 

Fire or burglar proof safes 

Billiard, pigeon-hole, bagatelle or similar tables 

Carriages or wagons of whatever kind 

Watches and clocks 

Sewing and knitting machines 


Melodeons and organs 


Annuities and royalties 

Patent rights 

Steamboats, sailing vessels, wharf boats, barges 
or other water craft 

Total assessed value of enumerated property 














































Merchandise $228,415 

Materials and manufactured articles 10,459 

Manufactories of tools, implements and machinery 5,668 

Agricultural tools, implements and machinery 52,517 

Gold and silver plate and plated ware 848 

Diamonds and jewelry 295 

Moneys of banks, bankers, brokers, etc 14,488 

Credits " " " " 6,939 

Moneys of other than bankers, etc 82,871 

Credits of other " " " 532,401 

Bonds and stocks 3,000 

Shares of capital stock of companies not of this State 600 

Grain on hand 12,382 

Property of corporations not before enumerated 3,550 

Property of saloons and eating houses 749 

Household and office property 105,716 

Investments in real estate and improvements thereon 16,840 

Shares of stock, State and national bank 62,500 

Total assessed value of enumerated property $1,140,238 

Total value of railroad property in county $11,353.00 
























Total value of all taxable property assessed in the county $9,180,510 



Marengo . 
Dunham . 
Chemung . 


Hartland . . 
Seneca . . . 


Grafton . . 




Richmond . 


McHenry . 







$ 74,863 


































































■& bo 

a a 






I 3 



A ° 



a 3 
























1 18E 



















4 033 
8 033 
4 r 778 











1 77E 

















1 925 











6,600 4,878 
21,834 19,823 
28 747161,510 




In 1840 the population of the county was 2,578; in 1850, 14,978; 
in I860, 22,089; in 1870, 23,762; in 1880, 24,908. Colored popu- 
lation, 1850, 3; 1860, 4; 1870, 103; 1880 (no data). The popula- 
tion by townships from 1850 to 1880 inclusive is given in the fol- 
lowing table : 








Woodstock - 



Greenwood .... 




Marengo . . 

McHenry , 





































































Woodstock City 1,475 

Harvard Village 1,607 

Marengo Village 1,264 

McHenry Village 874 

Crystal Lake Village 546 

Nunda Village 388 

Huntley Village 505 

Richmond Village 464 


Total native 20,060 

Born in Illinois 12,844 

" Ohio 405 

" New York 3,518 

" Indiana 101 

" Pennsylvania 449 

Other States 1,812 

Kentucky . 
Missouri . . 
Virginia . . 
Wisconsin . 

Total foreign born 

Natives of British America .... 

England and Wales. 



Great Britain, not 

German Empire 


Sweden and Norway 



Other Countries. . . . 











Number of establishments, 214; capital invested, $519,329; 





male employes above sixteen years of age, 354; females above fif- 
teen years, 127; children and youths, 215; amount paid in wages, 
$113,869; value of materials, $1,062,788; value of products, 


No. of 

over 16 
yrs. old. 


Value of 



paid in 






$ 17,500 


$ 6,385 

$ 13,200 













































, 10,000 

Value of 

Carriage and wagon .... 

Cheese and butter 

Clothing (men's) 

Cooperage - 

Flouring and grist mill . 

Liquors (malt) 


Pickles, preserves, sauces 
Saddlery and harness . . . 
Tin, copper and sheet iron 

S 26,000 














The Firing Upon Sumter. — The President's Call for Troops. — 
Governor Yates's Proclamation. — The State's Prompt Re- 
sponse. — Popular Sentiment in McHenrt County — Meeting of 
the Board of Supervisors. — Proceedings. — History of Fif- 
teenth Regiment. — Twenty-third Regiment. — Thirty-sixth 
Regiment. — Ninety-fifth Regiment. — One Hundred and For- 
ty-first Regiment. — One Hundred and Fifty-third Regi- 
ment. — Eighth Cavalry. — Miscellaneous Organizations. 

Fort Sumter was fired upon on Friday, the 12th of April, 1861. 
On Monday, April 15, President Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 
men for three months. Illinois' quota under this call was six reg- 
iments. On the same day with the President's call Governor Yates 
ordered the Legislature of the State to convene on the 23d of April, 
1861, to enact laws and [measures for the organization and equip- 
ment of the militia "and placing the same upon the best footing 
to render assistance to the General Government in preserving the 
Union, enforcing the laws and protecting the property and rights of 
the people; also the raising of such money and other means as may 
be required to carry out the foregoing objects," etc. The same day 
(April 15) General Order No.l was issued directing all commandants 
of brigades, regiments and companies to hold themselves in readi- 
ness for actual service; and on the 16th, General Order No. 2 pro- 
vided for the immediate organization of six regiments. Thus prompt 
was the grand State of Illinois in attending to the call of patriotic 

Popular feeling was around and patriotic utterances came from 
the mouth of every loyal citizen of McHenry County. On the 14th 
of May, 1861, the Board of Supervisors of the county met in spe- 
cial session at Woodstock. Their proceedings are worthy of record 
here. The meeting was called for the purpose of making provis- 
ion for the volunteers from the county and for the transaction of 
any other business that might demand the attention of the board. 
There were present Messrs. Underwood, Coon, Lansing, Barrows, 



McArthur, Alberty, Scully, Parsons, Templeton, Slocumb, Joslyn, 
Eckert, "Wells, Lamb and Nish. 

The board being called to order by the clerk, on motion of M. 
L. Joslyn, Esq., Cornelius Lansing, Esq., was unanimously elected 
Chairman of the board for the ensuing year. Colonel Lansing, on 
taking the chair, said : 

" Gentlemen: Twice before I have thanked the Board of Su- 
pervisors for conferring upon me the honor of being their presiding 
officer. Now, I doubly thank you for the higher honor of presiding 
over an assembly of patriots, called together to do patriots' duty. 
At this time, forgetting past differences, we unite as one man in 
this hour of our common peril to act as becomes the momentous is- 
sues forced upon us. All that we hold sacred in the past, all that' 
is dear in the present, all that we have anticipated of future good, 
is at stake. Let us this day show our fealty to Liberty, our attach- 
in en t to our homes and our hearthstones, by doing our whole duty 
in sustaining the best Government on earth. Men of McHenry! 
Our sons are already in the field; their parting tread still lingers 
in our ears; God's blessing goes with them. Of the rich treasures 
of their hearts' blood will they give in our behalf. Of the meaner 
treasures of our wealth let us with liberal hand supply their every 
want. When tbe news of this day's proceedings reaches the camp, 
let it be such that every soldier, knowing that his services are ap- 
preciated by his countrymen, will feel bis hands strengthen for the 
war and his fingers for the fight. It is no time to count the cost 
and inquire what it is worth. But it is the time to sustain, and 
make the welkin ring with the sentiment, ' Liberty and Union, now 
and forever, one and inseparable.' " 

This burst of eloquence commanded tbe wrapt attention of the 
listeners and increased their eagerness to help the soldiers. A com- 
mittee consisting of Messrs. Coon, Joslyn, Wells, Parsons, and 
Lamb was appointed to consider what action was expedient. The 
committee, after deliberation, recommended an appropriation of 
$9 000 out of the county treasury for war purposes; $3,000 to 
each of the two companies that had already volunteered for the ser- 
vice; %• e., $3,000, to the Woodstock company, and the same amount 
to the Marengo, Union and Riley company; that each company be 
allowed to use $1,000 of the appropriation for uniform and equip- 
ments, and that the balance be expended for the relief, mainte- 
nance and support of the families of the volunteers. The funds 
were to be expended under the direction of committees, one com- 




mittee of three for each company, to whom was entrusted the duty 
of finding and relieving cases of necessity. The committee also 
recommended the levying of a special tax of 2£ mills on each dollar 
of property, for war and military purposes. The report was ac- 
cepted and its provisions adopted. 

During the war the county issued bounty orders bearing interest 
at 8 and 10 per cent, to the amount of $260,000. The total ex- 
penditures for war purposes in the county was $±88,986.37. Only 
seven counties in the State exceeded this amount— Bureau, Cook, 
La Salle, Lee, McDonough, "Whiteside and "Winnebago. 

During the war McHenry County furnished 2,533 men, its en- 
tire quota, less three. To the everlasting honor of the county be it 
said there was never any necessity for a draft among the loyal and 
patriotic citizens of McHenry. 

A list of the different calls for troops, together with the dates of 
the same, is not inappropriate here, and we give it below for con- 
venience of reference : 

April 15, 1861, for three months, 75,000; May 4, 1861, for five 
years, 64,748; July, 1861, for three years, 500,000; July 18, 1862, 
for three years, 300,000; Aug. 4, 1862, for nine months, 300,000; 
June, 1863, for three years, 300,000; Oct. 17, 1863, for three years, 
300,000; Feb. 18, 1864, for three years, 500,000; July 10, 1864, for 
three years, 200,000; July 16, 1864, for one, two and three years, 
500,000; Dec. 21, 1864, for three years, 300,000; total, 3,339,748. 


This was the first regiment from the State organized for the three 
years' service. Companies A, D and F were composed chiefly of 
McHenry County men. These were the first companies raised in 
McHenry County for the war. The number of volunteers was so 
great from all parts of the State that but comparatively a small 
portion of the troops raised under the call for 75,000 men for three 
months could be accepted. The companies above named were 
held as State Militia until arrangements were perfected for muster- 
ing them into the United States service. The officers of these 
companies were as follows: 

Company A. — Captains: Lewis D. Kelly, of "Woodstock, com- 
missioned May 6, 1861, resigned Oct. 21, 1862; Frederick W. 
Smith, promoted from First Lieutenant, Oct. 21, 1862, mustered 
out at consolidation. First Lieutenants: Daniel C. Joslyn, Wood- 
stock, May 6, 1861, resigned Oct. 16, 1861; Lawrence H. Jones, 




Woodstock, Oct. 26, 1861, dismissed Feb. 15, 1862; Frederick W. 
Smith, Woodstock, Feb. 15, 1862, promoted; Wm. H. Sherman, 
Woodstock, Oct. 21, 1862, mustered out at consolidation. Second 
Lieutenants: Mark Hathaway, Woodstock, May 6, 1861, re- 
signed Oct. 16, 1861; Frederick W. Smith, Oct. 26, 1861, pro- 
moted; Wm. H. Sherman, Woodstock, Feb. 16, 1862, promoted; 
Geo. A. Austin, Woodstock, Oct. 21, 1862, promoted to Quarter- 
master "Veteran Battalion. 

Company D. — Captains: Harley Wayne, Union, April 27, 1861, 
killed at Pittsburg Landing; Frederick A. Smith, Genoa, April 7, 
1862, mustered out at consolidation. First Lieutenants: Frank 
S. Curtis, Marengo, April 27, 1861, resigned Sept. 12, 1861; 
Frederick A. Smith, Genoa, Sept. 16, 1861, promoted; Calvin H. 
Shapley, Harmony, April 7, 1862, resigned Sept. 3, 1862; John 
Waldock, Marengo, Sept. 3, 1862, mustered out at consolidation. 
Second Lieutenants: Fred. A. Smith, Genoa, April 27, 1861, pro- 
moted; Peter J. Labaugh, Marengo, Sept. 16, 1861, resigned April 
18, 1862; John Waldock, Marengo, April 7, 1862, promoted; Michael 
Schoonmaker, Marengo, Sept. 3, 1862, mustered out at consolida- 

Company F. — Captains: John H. Paddock, June 14, 1861, re- 
signed; Wm. Henry, Algonquin, Sept. 4, 1861, discharged Feb. 
15, 1862; Cyrenus C. Clark, Rockford, Feb. 18, 1862, died July 
15, 1863; Frank D. Patterson, Nunda, July 15, 1863, mustered 
out at consolidation. First Lieutenants: Wm. Henry, Algonquin, 
June 14, 1861, promoted; Nelson A. Thomas, Sept. 4, 1861, not 
mustered; John J. Sears, Algonquin, Feb. 18, 1862, First Ten- 
nessee Artillery, May 29, 1863; Frank D. Patterson, Nunda, May 
29, 1863, promoted; Simeon L. Eells, Algonquin, July 15, 1863, 
mustered out at consolidation. Second Lieutenants: John J. 
Sears, June 14, 1861, promoted; Frank D. Patterson, June 7, 
1862, promoted; Simeon L. Eells, May 29, 1863, promoted. 

The regiment was mustered into service May 24, 1861; re-en- 
listed veterans at Vicksburg, 1864; under special order, dated 
July 1, 1864, the veterans of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Infantry 
were consolidated under the name of the Veteran Battalion of 
the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Illinois Infantry; reorganized the 
Fifteenth Regiment in March, 1865; mustered out Sept. 20, 1865. 
The only McHenry County man who served as an officer in the 
Yeteran Battalion was George A. Austin, Quartermaster, afterward 
Quartermaster of the reorganized Fifteenth Regiment, commis- 



eioned Aug. 10, 1864, mustered out with the Fifteenth Regi- 
ment. Company E, Veteran Battalion of the Fourteenth and 
Fifteenth Infantry, afterward Company E, Fifteenth (reorganized) 
Regiment, contained a large number of veterans and recruits from 
this county. There were also a few McHenry soldiers in other 
companies belonging to these organizations. 

The Fifteenth Infantry was organized at Freeport, with Thomas 
J. Turner as Colonel. Proceeding to Alton, it remained there six 
weeks for instruction, moving thence to St. Charles, Mo., thence 
by rail to Mexico, Mo., next marched to Hannibal, and thence 
took steamer to Jefferson Barracks. Then proceeding by rail to 
Rolla, Mo., it arrived in time to cover General Sigel's retreat from 
Wilson's Creek. Then proceeding to Tipton, Mo., it joined to 
General Fremont's army. It next marched to Springfield, Mo., 
thence back to Tipton, and then to Sedalia, with General Pope- 
Near Sedalia it assisted in capturing 1,300 of the enemy. Dec. 26, 
1861, the regiment went into winter quarters at Otterville, Mo., 
where it remained until Feb. 1, 1862. Then marching to Jefferson 
City, it embarked for St. Louis by rail, and thence, by transports, 
to Fort Donelson, where it arrived on the day of the surrender. 
The' regiment was then assigned to the Fourth Division, com- 
manded by General Hurlbut, and marched to Fort Henry. Then 
embarking on transports, it reached Pittsburg Landing, where it 
participated in the battles of April 6 and 7, 1862, losing in killed 
and wounded 252 men. The regiment next marched to Corinth, 
took part in various skirmishes and in the siege of that town, los- 
ing several men. After Corinth was evacuated, the Fifteenth 
marched to Grand J unction, thence to Holly Springs and back to 
the Junction, thence to Lagrange, thence to Memphis, arriving 
there July 21, 1862, and remaining until Sept. 6. It then marched 
to Bolivar, thence to the Hatchie River, where it took part in the bat- 
tle, losing fifty in killed and wounded. Returning to Bolivar, thence 
to Lagrange, it proceeded with General Grant through Mississippi 
to Coffee ville, returning to Lagrange and Memphis. Then proceeding 
to Vicksbnrg, it took an active part in the siege. After the surrender 
of Vicksburg, the regiment marched with Sherman to Jackson, 
Miss., then returned to Vicksburg and embarked for Natchez. 
Marching thence to Kingston, then back to Natchez, then to 
Harrisonburg, La., capturing Fort Beauregard, on the Washita 
River, and finally returning to Natchez, it remained there until 
Nov. 10, 1863. It next went to Vicksburg and into winter 


quarters. Here the regiment re-enlisted as veterans. Remain- 
ing until Feb. 1, 1864, it then moved with Sherman through 
Mississippi. At the Champion Hills the regiment had a severe 
engagement with the rebel Carney. Marching to Meridian and 
Enterprise, it returned to Vicksburg, and was there given a veteran 
furlough. After the furlough it joined the Seventeenth Army 
Corps, and proceeded up the Tennessee Eiver to Clifton ; thence to 
Huntsville, Ala. ; thence to Decatur and Rome, Ga.; thence to 
Kingston, and joined Sherman's army, moving on to Atlanta. 
At Alatoona Pass the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Infantry were 
consolidated in the Veteran Battalion of the Fourteenth and Fif- 
teenth Illinois Infantry Volunteers, having 625 men. Then pro- 
ceeding to Ackworth, it was assigned to the duty of guarding the 
Chattanooga & Atlanta Railroad. While thus engaged, as the 
regiment was scattered along the railroad, the rebel General Hood, 
marching north, struck the railroad at Big Shanty and Ackworth 
and captured about 300 of the command. The remainder retreated 
to Marietta and were mounted and acted as scouts for General 
Vandever. Subsequently they were transferred to General F. P. 
Blair, and with General Sherman marched through Georgia. 
After the capture of Savannah the regiment proceeded to Beauford, 
S. C, thence to the Salkahatchie River, participating in engage- 
ments and skirmishes in that vicinity — at Columbia, S. C, Fay- 
etteville, N. C, and Benton ville; thence to Goldsboroand Raleigh. 
At the latter place sufficient recruits were received to till up both 
regiments, and the Fifteenth was reorganized and the battalion 
discontinued. The surrender of Johnson ended Sherman's cam- 
paign. The regiment then proceeded via Richmond and Fred- 
ericksburg to Washington, D. C, where it remained two weeks, 
participating in the grand review May 24, 1865. Then proceeding 
by rail and steamer to Louisville, Ky., it remained two weeks. 
The Fifteenth was then detached from the Fourth Division, Seven- 
teenth Army Corps, and proceeded by steamboat to St. Louis; 
thence to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where it arrived July 1, 1865. 
It then joined the army, serving on the plains; arrived at Fort 
Kearney, Aug. 14, was then ordered to return to Fort Leavenworth, 
Sept. 1, 1865, and was there mustered out of service and placed 
en route for Springfield, 111., for final pay and discharge. The 
regiment served four years and four months; marched 4,299 miles; 
went by rail 2,403 miles and by steamer 4,310; total number of 
miles traveled, 11,012. The number of men joining, from the 



organization, was 1,963; the number mustered out at the final 
date of muster out, 640. 


The Twenty-third Kegiment, known as the "Irish Brigade," was 
mustered into service June 15, 1861. In August, 1864, re-en- 
listed men and recruits were formed into new companies, and the 
consolidated organization was thenceforth known as "Battalion 
Tweuty-third Regiment Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry." 
Soldiers from McHenry County served in the organization, after 
its consolidation, in companies F, G, H and K. The officers of 
these companies were as follows: 

Company F. — Captain: Hiram C. Edison, Chemung, commis- 
sioned March 24, 1865. First Lieutenant: Everett EL Bierer, 
Rockford, March 24, 1865. Second Lieutenant: James H. Stark, 
Cook County, March 24, 1865. 

Company G. — Captain: Geo. W. Hardacre, May 27, 1865, 
First Lieutenant: Henry O. Wright, May 27, 1865. Second 
Lieutenant: Horace J. Mack, Alden, March 25, 1865. 

Company H. — Captain: Edwin R. Cross, Chemung, March 28, 
1865. First Lieutenant: Peter H. Bohart, May 27, 1865. Sec- 
ond Lieutenant: Wm. O. Finch, May 27, 1865. 

Company K. — Captain; Henry Seigel, Chemung, April 5, 1865. 
First Lieutenant: Daniel Morgan, Nunda, April 5, 1865. Second 
Lieutenant: Giles Slocum, Cook County, April 5, 1865. 

The Twenty-third was mustered out at Richmond, Va., July 
24, 1865. 


About thirty-six men of Company A, and nearly all of Company 
H, of this regiment, were from McHenry County. Among the 
officers were: George G. Lyon, Woodstock, Chaplain, from Sept. 
23, 1861, to April 1, 1862, and the following officers from McHenry 
County : 

Company A. — Captain: Wm. Mitchell, Crystal Lake, commis- 
sioned Feb. 7, 1863, resigned June 12, 1865. First Lieutenants: 
Sanford H. Wakernan, Richmond, June 8, 1862, promoted Captain 
Company H; Wm. Mitchell, Nov. 23, 1862, promoted; Franklin 
J. Thwing, Crystal Lake, Nov. 23, 1862, resigned Sept. 3, 1863; 
Geo. L. Peeler, Crystal Lake, June 22, 1865, mustered out Oct 



8, 1865. Second Lieutenants: Wm. Mitchell, Aug. 31, 1862, 
promoted; Franklin J. Thwing, Nov. 23, 1862, promoted. 

Company H. — Captains: Merritt L. Joslyn, "Woodstock, Aug. 
20, 1861, resigned Sept. 3, 1862; Theodore L. Griffin, Woodstock, 
Sept. 7, 1862, died Nov. 23, 1862; Sanford H. Wakeman, Nov. 
23, 1862, killed Sept. 20, 1863; Horace N. Chittenden, Crystal 
Lake, Sept. 20, 1863, mustered out Oct. 8, 1865. First Lieuten- 
ants: Alfred H. Sellers, Woodstock, Aug. 20, 1861, resigned 
July 14, 1862; Charles F. Dyke, Crystal Lake, July 14, 1862, 
resigned Aug. 31, 1862; Morris Briggs, Algonquin, Sept. 7, 1862, 
transferred to Invalid Corps Nov. 24, 1863; Nelson B. Sherwood, 
Algonquin, Nov. 24, 1863, mustered out Oct. 8, 1865. Second 
Lieutenants: Charles F. Dyke, Oct. 19, 1861, promoted; Theo- 
dore L. Griffin, July 14, 1862, promoted; Myron A. Smith, Sept. 
7, 1862, killed Sept. 20, 1863; Samuel Z. Carver, Alden, Oct. 8, 
1865, not mustered — mustered out as Sergeant Oct. 8, 1865. 

The Thirty-sixth was organized at Aurora, 111., and mustered 
into service Sept. 23, 1861. Its Colonel, at first; was Nicholas 
Greusel; afterward Silas Miller, who died July 27, 1864 ; then 
Benjamin F. Campbell. Sept. 24, 1861, the regiment proceeded 
by rail to Quincy, 111., and thence to St. Louis, where it was 
armed. On the 29th it proceeded to Kolla, and there remained 
until Jau. 14, 1862. Next, moving to Lebanon, it remained until 
Feb. 10. On the 13th it entered Springfield, and thence proceeded 
to Benton ville, Ark., where it took part in the fight of March 6- 
On the 7th the regiment was engaged at Leetown, and on the 8th at 
Pea Eidge. Marching thence through Missouri and Arkansas, to 
Batesville, Ark., it was there transferred to the Department of the 
Mississippi, and marched under General Asboth to Cape Girar- 
deau, Mo. Embarking for Hamburg Landing, Tenn., on arriving 
there the regiment was assigned to General Pope's command. 
After the evacuation of Corinth the Thirty-sixth marched to Boone- 
ville and back to Rienzi, remaining until Sept. 6. It then 
moved to Cincinnati and Covington, and, via Indianapolis, to 

ouisville, where it remained until Oct. 1. It then moved with 
BueLl's army via Bardstown and Springfield, to Perryville, 
where it encountered the enemy, and lost in killed and wounded 
seventy-five men. Marching thence through Kentucky and Ten- 
nessee, it went into camp near Nashville. From Dec. 26, 1862, 
to Jan. 2, 1863, the Thirty-sixth was engaged in the battle of 
Stone River, and when the action ended had but 200 men left 




Of the regiment's part in this action Colonel Greusel speaks 
thus : 

" At daylight on the 31st the regiment was assaulted by a rebel 
brigade, under General Weathers, and being supported by the 
Eighty-eighth Illinois, Colonel Frank Sherman, on its left, they 
were driven back into the woods; but again and again they were 
rallied, every time meeting the same fate, until thirty-eight of 
that fine brigade were all that were left to tell where their rebel 
comrades had fallen. The Thirty-sixth charged them at the point 
of the bayonet twice in succession, driving them back. Forty-one 
of the poor boys lay dead on their faces on less than an acre of 
ground. The wounded was large; and in fact the killed and wounded 
were the largest in the whole division. At 8 o'clock, a.m., 31st, 
received notice of the death of General Sill, and the command of 
the brigade devolved upon me. All our brigade commanders 
were killed. Here it was that Herrington fell. Only half of the 
division, Sheridan's Third, was left. My brigade went into action 
2,210 strong, and came out with 1,008 rank and file. My officers, 
with one exception, stood their ground. First Sergeant Orrison 
Smith, for bravery during the battle, maintaining his position in 
the company, although wounded in three places, I made a Second 
Lieutenant, in front of the whole regiment. My regiment is in a 
crippled condition. Only ten officers are left; nine wounded and 
taken prisoners by the enemy; one killed, and one mortally 

The Thirty-sixth also bore an honorable part in the battle near 
Chickamauga Creek, Sept. 20 and 21, 1863. On the 19th of 
September, under command of Colonel Miller, the regiment 
marched from Pond Springs ten miles to Gordon's Mills, and at 
2 p.m. went into position with one company thrown forward as 
skirmishers. At 5 p.m. it fell back into the timber about 200 
yards and there remained until 4 o'clock the next morning, when 
it marched two and a quarter miles to the left and formed in the 
second line. At 11 a.m., after some skirmishing, it was ordered 
forward to the support of the center, and formed in good order on 
the brow of a hill, though exposed to a terrific fire, and engaged 
the enemy, checking his advance. Here the enemy appeared 
upon the left and, turning the flank, subjected the Thirty-sixth to 
a murderous enfilading fire, against which resistance was impos- 
sible. The regiment was ordered to fall back. General Lytle 
having been killed, Colonel Miller took command of the brigade, 



and Lieutenant-Colonel Ol8on of the regiment. Another stand 
was made, but the regiment was overpowered by numbers and 
compelled to fall back. It then marched to Rossville and en- 
camped. On the 21st it was in position on the Chattanooga road, 
and on the 22d moved into Chattanooga. The regiment was 
mustered out Oct. 8, 1865, at New Orleans, and arrived at Camp 
Butler, 111., Oct. 17, 1865,. for final pay and discharge. 


The Ninety-fifth Infantry was mainly raised in McHenry 
County. The number of soldiers in each of the seven companies 
from this county, when mustered into the service, was as follows : 


Co. A Wm. Avery 99 

" C John B. Manzer 100 

" D Edward J. Cook 84 

" E John Eddy 96 

" F . "Wm. H. Stewart 99 

" H Chas.H.Tryon 99 

" I James Nish 96 

Total 673 

Regimental Officers. — Colonels: Lawrence S. Church, "Wood- 
stock, commissioned Sept. 4, 1862, resigned Jan. 24, 1863; 
Thomas W. Humphrey, Franklin, June 24, 1863, killed in battle 
Jnne 12, 1864; Leander Blanden, Harvard, June 12, 1864, pro- 
moted Brevet Brigadier-General March 26, 1865, mustered out, 
Aug. 17, 1865. Lieutenant- Colonels: Thomas W. Humphrey, 
Sept. 4, 1862, promoted; Leander Blanden, Jan. 24, 1863, pro- 
moted; "Wm. Avery, Marengo, June 12, 1864, mustered out, Aug. 
17, 1865. Majors: Leander Blanden, Sept. 4, 1862, promoted; 
Wm. Avery, Jan. 24, 1863, promoted; Charles B. Loop, Belvi- 
dere, June 12, 1862, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. Adjutant; 
"Wales "W. "Wood, Belvidere, Sept. 4, 1862, mustered out, Aug. 
17, 1865. Quartermasters: Henry D. Bates, Hebron, Sept. 4, 
1862, resigned Feb. 14, 1863; Gardner S. Southworth, Algon- 
quin, Feb. 14, 1863 ; mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. Sur- 
geons: Geo. N. "Woodward, Belvidere, Oct. 10, 1862, resigned 
March 24, 1863; John "W. Green, Marengo, April 24, 1863, mus- 
tered out, Aug. 17, 1865. First Assistant Surgeons: Ansel D. 
Merritt, "Woodstock, Oct. 28, 1862, resigned March 24, 1863; 
Walter F. Suiter, Marengo, March 24, 1863, mustered out with regi- 
ment. Second Assistant Surgeons: "Walter F. Suiter, Oct. 7, 1862, 
promoted; Josiah Giddings, April SO, 1863, mustered out Aug. 



17, 1863. Chaplains: Thomas R. Satterfield, Greenwood, Oct. 
9, 1862, resigned June 9, 1864; James H. More, Richmond, Sept. 
16, 1864, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. 

Company A. — Captains: ¥m. Avery, Sept. 4, 1862, promoted; 
Alexandur S. Stewart, Jan. 24, 1863, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. 
First Lieutenants: Alexander S. Stewart, Marengo, Sept. 4, 1862, 
promoted; James E. Sponable, Marengo, Jan. 24, 1863, died of 
wounds June 18, 1863; John B. Babcock, Marengo, June 18, 1863, 
resigned Jan. 29, 1864; Amos J. Boynton, Marengo, Jan. 29, 
1864, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. Second Lieutenants: James 
E. Sponable, Sept. 4, 1862, promoted; John B. Babcock, Jan. 24, 
1863, promoted; Benjamin S. Parker, Marengo, Jan. 29, 1864, 
mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. 

Company C. — Captains: John B. Manzer, Chemung, Sept. 
4, 1862, killed in battle May 22, 1863; Otis H. Smith, Dunham, 
May 22, 1863, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. First Lieutenants: 
Wm. W. Wedgewood, Alden, Sept. 4, 1862, resigned Dec. 31, 
1862; Otis H. Smith, Dec. 31, 1862, promoted; Philian Wells, 
Dunham, May 22, 1863, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. /Second 
Lieutenants: Otis H. Smith, Sept. 4, 1862, promoted; Philian 
Wells, Dec. 31, 1862, promoted; Samuel Cutler, May 22, 1863, 
mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. 

Company D. — Captains: Edward J. Cook, Richmond, Sept. 4, 
1862, died of wounds June 11, 1863; John E. Beckley, Nunda, 
June 11, 1863, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. First Lieutenants: 
John E. Beckley, Sept. 4, 1862, promoted; Win. H. Huffman, 
JSTunda. June 11, 1863, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. Second Lieu- 
tenants: Wm. EL. Huffman, Sept. 4, 1862, promoted; James 
Casler, Richmond, June 11, 1863, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. 

Company E.— Captain: John Eddy, Sept. 4, 1862, on detached 
service at muster out of the regiment. First Lieutenants: Asa 
Farnam, Dunham, Sept. 4, 1862; Albert Gilkerson, Hampshire, 
Sept, 24, 1864, resigned Dec. 11, 1864. Second Lieutenants: 
Oscar E.Dow, Marengo, Sept. 4, 1852, resigned March 25, 1863; 
Thomas Gilkerson, March 25, 1863, promoted; Albert J. Alder- 
man, Chemung, Sept. 24, 1864, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. 

Company F. — Captain: Wm. H. Stewart, Dorr, Sept. 4, 1862, 
mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. First Lieutenants: Sabine Van 
Curen, Dorr, Sept. 4, 1862, resigned May 26, 1863; Morris F. 
Ellsworth, McHenry, May 26,^1863, mustered out Sept. 11, 1865. 
Second Lieutenants: Phineas H. Kerr, Dorr, Sept. 4, 1862 


resigned Feb. 22, 1863; Morris F. Ellsworth, Feb. 22, 1863, pro- 
moted; James Morrow, Dorr, May 26, 1863, resigned Sept. 8 
1865; Geo. Eckert, Greenwood, 14, 1866, not mustered,— 
mustered out (as Sergeant) Sept. 11, 1865. 

Company U. — Captains: Chas. H. Tryon, Hebron, Sept. 4, 
1862, resigned Feb. 18, 1863; James H. Wetmore, Richmond, 
Feb. 18, 1863, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. First Lieutenants: 
James H. "Wetmore, Sept. 4, 1862, promoted; "William B. "Walker, 
Richmond, Feb. 18, 1863, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. Second 
Lieutenants: "William B. Walker, Sept. 4, 1862, promoted; John 
P. Ransom, Richmond, Feb. 18, 1863, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. 

Company I. — Captain: James Nish, Cary Station, Sept. 4, 
1862, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. First Lieutenants: Gardner 
S. Southworth, Sept. 4, 1862, promoted Quartermaster; Thomas 
H. Jackson, Grafton, Feb. 14, 1863, died June 28, 1864; ¥m. H. 
Ide , Algonquin, June 22, 1864, mustered outJAug. 17, 1865. Second 
Lieutenants: Converse Fierce, Algonquin, Sept. 4, 1862, resigned 
July 31, 1863; Wm. H. Ide, July 31, 1863, promoted; Asa L 
Weaver, Algonquin, June 22, 1864, mustered out Aug. 17, 1865. 

The Ninety-fifth Infantry was organized at Camp Fuller, Rock- 
ford, 111., by Colonel Lawrence S. Church, in August, 1862, and 
mustered into service Sept. 4, 1862. Moving from camp on the 4th 
of November, the regiment proceeded, via Cairo and Columbus, to 
Jackson Tenn., and afterward to Grand Junction, Tenn., where 
it was assigned to McArthur's division of the Army of the Ten- 
nessee. During the winter of 1862-'3 it took part in Grant's 
campaign in Northern Mississippi. In the spring it moved from 
Memphis to Milliken's Bend. The Ninety-fifth participated in the 
march to Grand Gulf and all the battles between that place and the 
rear of Yicksburg. In the charges of May 19 and May 22 it sus- 
tained a much heavier loss than any other regiment in the division, 
there being twenty-five killed, 124 wounded and ten missing from 
the Ninety-fifth. 

In March, 1864, the regiment went on the Red River Expedi- 
tion under General A. J. Smith, and was engaged in the capture of 
Fort De Russey and in the battles of Old River, Cloutierville, 
Mansouri, Yellow Bayou, and all the movements of that advance 
and retreat, Returning to Yicksburg in May, 1864, it was soon 
after moved to Memphis and took part in the ill-fated expedition of 
General Sturgis. In the battle of Guntown, the Ninety-fifth fought 
with great bravery; but, like the rest of Sturgis's army, was over- 



history: of mo henry county. 249 

powered, and retreated in confusion to Memphis. Colonel Thomas 
W. Humphrey was killed and the regiment was nearly destroyed 
on account of the large number killed, wounded and captured. 

The command, after recruiting at Memphis, joined General Mower 
in August, moved up White River and marched from Brownsville 
through Arkansas to Missouri in pursuit of Price. It arrived at 
Benton Barracks, Mo., Nov. 1, 1864. On the 30th of November it 
moved to Nashville, and on the 15th and 16th of November took 
part in the battle of Nashville, joining in the pursuit of Hood's 
defeated army to the Tennessee River. Jan. 2, 1865, it moved up 
the- river to Eastport, and in February embarked for New Orleans, 
arriving Feb. 21. On the 14th of March it moved to Danphin 
Island, at the mouth of Mobile Bay, and on the 18th landed at 
Cedar Point, with Colonel Moore's brigade, and commenced the 
first offensive operations against Mobile. The Ninety-fifth took 
part in General Camby's morement from Fish River. During th 
siege of Spanish Fort it carried its trenches within thirty yards o 
the enemy's works, and was actively engaged in storming and cap- 
turing the fort, April 8, 1865. It was the first regiment to occupy 
what was known to the rebel line as the "Red Fort." After the fall 
of Mobile, the Ninety-fifth marched to Montgomery, Ala., where it 
arrived April 25. Thence it moved to Opelika, Ala. July 18, 
1865, the regiment started for home. On the 3d of August it 
arrived at Yicksburg, on the 10th at St. Louis, and thence moved 
to Camp Butler, where it was mustered out of service, Aug. 18, 
186,5. Thus ends the record, briefly sketched, of the toil and hard- 
ships, battles and movements of a noble band of gallant soldiers. 

During the summer of 1864, a detachment of 100 men from 
the Ninety-fifth, under the charge of Major Charles B. Loop, 
Captain James Nish and Captain A. S. Stewart, participated in the 
battles of Kenesaw Mountain, Chattahoochee River, Atlanta, 
Jonesboro and Lovejoy Station. 

The Ninety-fifth marched 1,800 miles, and moved by rail and boat 
8,160 miles. Eighty -four men were killed in battle or died of 
wounds, and 176 died of disease. The entire number of men belong- 
ing to the regiment from first to last was 1,355. 


The One Hundred and Forty-first Infantry was mustered in ;> 
service for 100 days, on the 16th of June, 1864, and mustered out 
Oct. 10, 1864. The Colonel was Stephen Bronson, of Milton. 

—1 w 


Among the commissioned officers were the following from Mc- 
Henry County: Jacob D. Lansing, JMarengo, Lieutenant-Colonel; 
Harmon A. Buck, Marengo, Surgeon; F. W. Watson, Marengo, 
Second Assistant Surgeon; Charles W. Ingersoll, Marengo, First 
Lieutenant, Company F. 

Company A contained one McHenry County man; Company F, 
twenty-six; and Company K, twenty-two. 


This was another 100 days' regiment, mustered into service June 
18, 1864, and mustered out Oct. 26, 1864. About twenty men 
from this county belonged to Company C. 


In Company I, of the above regiment (one year's service) there 
were about twenty-five men from McHenry County. The regiment 
was mustered into service Feb. 18, 1865, and mustered out Jan. 
20, 1866. It served principally in Tennessee and Georgia. 


The number of men from McHenry County belonging to this 
regiment is shown by the Adjutant-General's report to have been 
as follows: Company A, 17; Company B, 33; Company C, 21; 
Company F, 2; Company K, 85. The following commissioned 
officers were from this county : 

Company K. — Captain; Charles H. Hitchcock, Hartland. 
First Lieutenants: John H. Payne, Hartland, commissioned Feb. 
27, 1865, resigned May 27, 1865; William E. Colburn, Eichmond, 
Feb. 27, 1865. Second Lieutenant; Wm. E. Colburn, promoted. 

The One Hundred and Fifty-third Illinois 'Infantry was organized 
at Camp Try, 111., by Colonel Stephen Bronson, and was mustered 
into the service Feb. 27, 1865, for one year. Moving by rail on 
the 4th of March, to Tullahoma, via Louisville and Nashville, on 
its arrival it reported to Major-General Milroy. The regiment 
was assigned to the Second Brigade, defenses of Nashville & 
Chattanooga Eailroad, Brevet Brigadier-General Dudley com- 
manding. In the latter part of March Major Wilson with three 
companies went on a campaign into Alabama and returned. 
July 1 the regiment moved to Memphis, Tenn., via Nashville 
and Louisville, and was assigned to the command of Brevet 



Major-General A. L. Chetlain. On the 15th of September, 1865, 
the regiment was mustered out and moved to Springfield, 111. On 
the 24th of September it received final pay and discharge. Colonel 
Bronson was made a Brevet Brigadier-General. 


In the Adjutant-General's report no privates in the above regi- 
ment are credited to McHenry County, but among the commis- 
sioned officers the following names appear : 

Erwin B. Messer, Chemung, Lieutenant-Colonel; Mortimore 
P. Bundy, Hebron, Captain Company C; Emanuel Englested, 
Hebron, First Lieutenant Company C; Chester M. Stewart, 
Hebron, Second Lieutenant Company C; Thomas S. Sexton, 
Chemung, Captain Company E; David G. Hudson, First Lieuten- 
ant Company E; Martin Daley, Chemung, Second Lieutenant 
Company E; Nelson W. Clark, Hebron, Captain Company K; 
John W. S. Bergman, Hebron, Second Lieutenant Company K. 
The regiment was organized at Chicago and mustered into^ service 
March 9, 1865; mustered out at Memphis. Tenn., Sept. 20, 1865. 


The Eighth Cavalry Regiment had in several companies men 
from McHenry County, and Company H was almost entirely from 
this county. 

Company H. — Captains: Rufus M.Hooker, commissioned Sept. 
18, 1861, died Aug. 1, 1862; John M. Southworth, Aug. 1, 1862, 
resigned; Edward D. Dowd, McHenry, Aug. 18, 1863, term ex- 
pired September, 1864; John "W. DeLaney, Freeport, Sept. 18, 
1864, mustered out July 17, 1865. First Lieutenants; Charles 
Harrison, Sept. 18, 1861, resigned; Edward D. Dowd, Sept. 10, 
1862, promoted; Isaac F. Russell, Crystal Lake, Aug. 20, 1863, 
term expired Oct. 27, 1864; Isaac JST. Brooks, McHenry, Oct. 27, 
1864, resigned June 30, 1865. Second Lieutenants: John M. 
Southworth, Sept. 18, 1861, promoted; Isaac F. Russell, Sept. 10, 
1862, promoted; John W. De Laney, Feb. 1, 1864, promoted ; 
Addison V. Teeple, Sept. 18, 1864, mustered out July 17, 1865. 

There were in Company G twenty- six men from McHenry 
County; in Company H, counting recruits and veterans, about 
150; in Company I, about thirty-three; and perhaps thirty more 
scattered through the remaining companies of the regiment. 

The Eighth Cavalry was organized at St. Charles, 111., by 



Colonel John F. Farnsworth, and mustered into the service Sept. 
18, 1861. The regiment moved to Washington, D. O, Oct. 13, 
and went into camp near Alexandria, Va.,1 Dec. 17. March 10, 
1862 the regiment joined the advance on Manassas, in General 
Sumner's division. The Eighth Cavalry remained at Warrenton 
until the 12th of April, driving the enemy across the Rappahau- 
nock at four different times. Embarking at Alexandria, April 
23, it landed at Shipping Point May 1. On the 4th of May 
it moved to "Williamsburg, and was assigned to the Light Brigade, 
in command of General Stoneman. The regiment was engaged 
during the advance of the army up the peninsula. June 6, 1862, 
six companies of the regiment met the advance of the enemy 
under Jackson at Mechanicsville, and checked it there until three 
o'clock, p.m., when their line was forced back to the infantry line. 

The regiment performed important duty at Gaines's Mill, Dis- 
patch Station and Malvern Hill. Covering the extreme rear of 
the army, it had continual skirmishes with the enemy's cavalry. 
While the army remained at Harrison's Landiug the Eighth 
performed picket duty on the James River. In the second occu- 
pation of Malvern Hill it led the advance, and with Benson's Bat- 
tery, IT. S. Artillery, bore the brunt of the fight. Lieutenan 
Colonel Gamble of the Eighth was severely wounded. On the 
retreat of our army to Barrett's Ford, on the Chickahominy, the 
Eighth Cavalry brought up the rear. 

Aug. 30, 1862, the regiment embarked at Yorktown, landed at 
Alexandria, Sept. 1, and immediately moved to the front. Cross- 
ing into Maryland on the 4th, it was engaged at Poolsville. A.t 
Monocacy Church it captured the colors of the rebel cavalry 
(Twelfth Virginia). At Barnesville the Eighth took twenty pris- 
oners. The regiment was engaged at Sugar Loaf Mountain, Mid- 
dletown, and South Mountain; and, at Boonesboro, captui^ed two 
guns, killed and wounded sixty-seven men and took 200 prisoners. 
The regiment was also engaged at Antietam. On Oct. 1, during 
a reconnoissance to Martinsburg, it had a severe fight with the 
enemy. Moving in advance of the Army of the Potomac, it was 
engaged with the enemy's cavalry at Philemonte, Uniontown, 
Upperville, Barbee's Cross-roads, Little Washington and Ames- 
ville, arriving at Falmouth Nov. 23, 1862. During the battle of 
Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, two squadrons were in the city until the 
evacuation. The Eighth was on picket duty on the left flank of 
the army, across the peninsula, and up the Rappahannock to Port 


> rzz - — — — - — — — : — — rL > 


Conway. It then moved to the right flank, near Dumfries. Up 
to this time the army had lost twenty-seven killed, seventy-one 
wounded and twenty missing. 

The regiment was engaged in the following actions during the 
campaign of 1863: Sulphur Springs, April 14; near "Warrenton, 
April 17; Rapidan Station, May 1; Northern Neck, May 14; 
Borstly Ford, June 9; Upperville, June 21; Fairville, Pa., June 
30; Gettysburg, July 1; Williamsburg, Md., July 6; Boonsboro, 
July 8; Funktown, July 10; Falling Water, July 14; Cheater Gap, 
July 21; Sandy Hook, July 22; near Culpeper, Aug. 1; Brandy 
Station, Aug. 4; raid from Dumfries to Falmouth, Aug. 30; Cul- 
peper and Pony Mountain, Sept, 13; Raccoon Ford, Sept. 13; 
Liberty Mills, Sept. 21 ; Raccoon Ford to Brandy Station, Oct. 11 ; 
Manassas, Oct. 15; Warrenton Junction, Oct. 30; Rexleysville, 
Nov. 8; Mitchell's Station, Nov. 12; Ely's Ford, Nov. 30. During 
the campaign the loss of the regiment was twenty-three killed, 
116 wounded and thirty-seven missing. The Eighth Cavalry was 
mustered out of service at Benton Barracks, Mo., July 17, 1865, 
and ordered to Chicago for final payment and discharge. 


About twenty men from this county served in Company B of 
the above regiment. Company G was almost wholly made up of 
McHenry County men. Its officers were as follows: 

Company G. — Captains: Louis D. Kelly, Dorr, Jan. 8, 1864, 
mustered out Feb. 14, 1865 ; Cyrus Hutchinson, Benton, May 10, 
1865, mustered out Dec. 18, 1865. First Lieutenants: Christopher 
C. Kelly, Dorr, Jan. 8, 1864, resigned March 3, 1865; Albert W. 
Amet, Evanston, June 22, 1865, mustered out Dec. 18, 1865. 
Second Lieutenants: Ebenezer Knapp, Richmond, Jan. 8, 1864, 
dismissed Dec. 27, 1864; Wm. H. Austin, Richmond, March 28, 
1865, mustered out Dec. 18, 1865. 

The Seventeenth Cavalry was organized under special authority 
from the War Department, issued Aug. 12, 1863, to Hon. John F. 
Farnsworth. The regiment was recruited and organized by Colonel 
John L. Beveridge. Eight companies were mustered in Jan. 22, 
1864. Fdur companies were mustered in Feb. 12, 1864. The' 
regiment moved to St. Louis, Mo., May 3, 1864, and served con- 
tinually in the Department of the Missouri, under Generals Rose- 
crans, Dodge and Pope. The most noteworthy actions in which 





the regiment took part are thus described in the report of the 
Adjutant-General of Illinois: 

" At Independence, the Seventeenth, dismounted, was deployed 
on the left and in support of the Thirteenth Missouri Cavalry, 
when the rear-guard of the enemy was attacked and their artillery 
captured. This was Oct. 22, 1864. The same day, at midnight, 
the brigade left Independence, in the direction of Hickman's Mills, 
twelve miles distant, where the enemy was intercepted the next 
day about noon. "While the main column of the brigade, under 
General McNeil, attacked near the head of the rebel column, the 
Seventeenth, Colonel Beveridge commanding, was ordered to form 
a separate column, and strike the enemy on the flank, one mile or 
more in the rear. By a rapid movement their flank was reached, 
but at a moment preceding an attack, which must have been a 
success, peremptory orders were received to return and support the 
battery in front. Two days after this, the division, now under 
General Bleasanton's immediate orders, captured Major-General 
Marmaduke, Brigadier-General Cabel, ten rebel cannon, and more 
than a thousand prisoners, with their arms, at Mine Creek, Kan., 
having moved seventy miles within twenty-four hours. 

" The Seventeenth, with McNeil's Brigade, was hurried forward 
in pursuit of the retreating foe. Three times the pursuers formed 
in line of battle, but only in the last case did the enemy maintain 
his ground. Then the rebels had chosen their ground on an open 
prairie, and were quietly awaiting the approach of the Union 
forces — a brigade, now thinned down to 1,500 men, moving up to 
attack 15,000! Every man of this little band could see, and was 
6een by, every man of the rebel army. The Seventeenth was made 
the guide for the whole line, of which it was the left. After a 
short, sharp engagement, and an attempt by the rebels to over- 
whelm its right — which was prevented by the arrival of two guns 
which checked the rebels — an order came from General Pleasan- 
ton to charge along the whole line. After some delay the com- 
mand ' forward ' was given and away went the Seventeenth boys. 
With only 300 men they pushed up in the face of the enemy, who 
moved off at their approach, while the center and right were full 
$. half mile in the rear. This was Oct. 25, 1864, and occurred in 
the vicinity of Fort Scott. The lack of forage and the rapid 
marching caused a loss of more than half their horses, and hun- 
dreds of miles were traversed by some of the Seventeenth on foot." 

.__ I 19 

•Si 9 


The regiment was mustered out at Leavenworth, Kan., in 
November and December of 1865. 


In addition to the regiments and companies already mentioned, 
other Illinois organizations contained men from McHenry County, 
though not in large numbers. Indeed, so J widely scattered were 
the soldiers from this county that it may be truthfully said that 
there was scarcely an important military campaign during all of 
the war in which McHenry men did not participate. 

Thirty-two men whose residences are given as being in Mc 
Henry County served in Company I, Fifty-second Infantry, and 
about a dozen in Company G. This regiment was mustered into 
service Nov. 19, 1861, Isaac G. Wilson, Colonel, and mustered out 
July 12, 1865. It served in Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, 
Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia; was in Shiloh, Corinth, and 
other severe battles, and in the Atlanta expedition. Jay Hamil- 
ton, of Algonquin, was Captain of Company G, Fifty-second 
.Regiment, from Jan. 22, 1865, until the muster out. Joseph E. 
Ewall, of Alden, was commissioned First Lieutenant of Company 
I, Sept. 13, 1861; resigned April 18, 1862. 

Twenty-six from McHenry County served in Company E, Eighty- 
fourth Infantry; mustered into service Sept. 1, 1862; mustered 
out June 8, 1865. 

In tl^e Sixteenth Cavalry about twenty-five men from this county 
served, principally in Company H. Among the officers were 
Hiram S. Hanchett, Woodstock, Captain, Company M, com- 
missioned May 19, 1863, promoted Major, June 8, 1864; and First 
Lieutenant Henry D. Stocker, McHenry, Company M, May 19, 
1863, resigned Oct. 19, 1864. The regiment was mustered into 
service in January and April, 1863; mustered out Aug. 19, 1865. 




MoHenby County Lawyers. — Men of Character and Ability. — 
Early Members of the Bar. — A. E. Thomas, Searl, Bahwick 
and Others. — The First Lawyers at Woodstock. — D. C. Bush, 
Wm. Sloan and Colonel L. S. Church. — A. B. Coon the Oldest 
Lawyer of the Present Bab. — Platt & Plait. — Hon. T. D. 
Murphy. — Hon. M. L. Joslyn. — Kerr, Slavin and Others. — 
Biographies and Personal Mention. 

McHenry County has a bar of more than average ability. In 
the past, too, her lawyers have been foremost among her honored 
citizens. Although the record contains no long array of distin- 
guished names, yet every one familiar with the county knows that 
the lawyers of the McHenry bar have maintained an excellent rep- 
utation for character, honesty and diligence in business. In this 
chapter it has been the endeavor of the writer to include the name 
of every lawyer of prominence that ever resided in the county, to- 
gether with biographical sketches, when it was possible to procure 
them, of all who, from long residence or conspicuous ability, might 
justly be considered as entitled to such mention. 

Amory E. Thomas was the first lawyer who became a resident of 
McHenry County. He settled at McHenry in 1839, and remained 
in practice there until 1844. He then returned to New York, his 
native State. He was a lawyer of considerable ability, and had a 
good practice. 

Calvin Searl, the next resident attorney, settled at Crystal 
Lake in 1839, and remained until about 1845, when he removed to 

J. J. Barwick settled in McHenry in 1841, practiced until 1845, 
then removed to Oshkosh, Wis. He was a man of fair ability. 

Hosea G. Wilson located at McHenry in 1842, and died there 
about 1847. 

Charles McClure was admitted to the bar of McHenry County 
in 1840. He settled at McHenry, remained a few months, then 



went to La Porte, Ind. He afterward became a Methodist preacher, 
then turned again to the law. He returned to McHenry County 
about 1851, and settled in Woodstock, and. in partnership with 
Amos Cogswell, practiced at the bar six or seven years, after which 
he removed to Minnesota. He was a successful lawyer. 

Solomon Baird came to McHenry in 1843, and remained unti 
1845, then returned to Kentucky, whence he came. 

Hamilton Nixon, a native of Vermont, was among the early 
lawyers at McHenry. He was a young man of good intellect and 
much ability, and but for strong drink doubtless would have risen 
to prominence and honor. He died when only about thirty years 
of age. 

D. C. Bush was the first lawyer who settled in Woodstock. He 
came in the fall of 1844 and remained until about 1852, when he 
removed to Madison, Wis. He was a lawyer of average ability, 
and had a fair practice. 

William Sloan came next, in December, 1844. For 6orae time 
he had his office in the office of the Circuit Clerk, in the court- 
house, the commissioners giving him his rent on condition that 
he furnish wood for the office. He bought land on the west side 
of the town and planted a nursery. Mr. Sloan was a native of 
New Hampshire, and a graduate of Dartmouth College. He was 
a man of extensive reading and scholarship, but was not particu- 
larly successful. He took an active part in the organization of the 
Illinois & Wisconsin Eailroad (now the Wisconsin division of the 
Chicago & Northwestern), and was elected its President in 1851, 
serving two years. He was accidentally killed in Chicago. 

Colonel Lawrence S. Church (deceased). — The subject of this 
notice won high distinction both as a lawyer and a statesman. He 
was a man of" the best intellectual caliber, and a citizen of whom 
McHenry County might well be proud. He was born in Nunda, 
N. Y., in 1820, and passed his early years upon a farm. He 
early evinced a fondness for study, and made the best use of the 
school privileges allowed him. At a youthful age he was able to 
earn money to prosecute his studies in the summer by teaching a 
term of school each winter. He turned his attention to the law, 
which he learned with rapidity and thoroughness. In 1823 he 
started West and came to McHenry County, where he had two 
married sisters. He reached McHenry, the then county seat, in 
June, 1843, and was then a stranger without money. He had 
walked part of the way from New York, riding on the stage 


the rest, paying his expenses by stopping at villages along the way 
and delivering a lecture on " The Constitution of the United 
States," showing, even thus early, what was the bent of his mind. 
Soon after reaching McHenry he married and took a trip to Spring- 
field, where he was examined before Hon. S. H. Treat and admit- 
ted to the bar. He at once began practice at McHenry, and soon 
took a leading position at the bar. Soon after the county seat was 
removed, he located at Woodstock, where he remained as long as 
he lived. Mr. Church was a Whig of the active, aggressive sort, 
and of course he had no chance for political or official prominence 
until after 1856, when the county underwent a decided political 
change. In 1856 he gave his support to Fremont, and the same 
fall was the Republican candidate for Representative of the Legis- 
lature. He was triumphantly elected, and during the session 
which followed distinguished himself as one of the ablest members 
of the Legislature. He was re-elected, and in the stormy session 
that ensued became one of the leaders of the House. In 1860 he 
consented to become a candidate for Congress, and was warmly 
supported at the District Convention, but Hon. E. B. Washburn 
received the nomination. The same fall he was again chosen a 
Representative to the Legislature. For the first time he found a 
majority of the members of the House Republicans. Speaker 
Cullom appointed him Chairman of the Judicial Committee, a 
position which he filled with great ability. On the breaking out of 
the war he exerted himself to the utmost to arouse patriotic senti- 
ment and fidelity to the Union cause. In 1862, having aided to 
recruit the Ninety-fifth Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry, 
he left his family and his large law practice for the field. He was 
elected Colonel of the regiment and went into camp with it at 
Rockford. But his health failed; he could not endure camp life, 
and when the regiment reached Columbus, Ky., being stricken 
with cholera morbus, he was compelled to resign his command and 
return. He remained in a precarious condition through the winter 
of 1862-'3, and never afterward had as good health as before. In 
1866, on the death of his law partner, Hon. Wm. Kerr, County 
Judge, Mr. Church filled the duties of that office for the unexpired 
term. In 1869 he was elected a member of the State Constitu- 
tional Convention, in which he performed distinguished service. 
Colonel Church died in Woodstock, July 23, 1870. The McHenry 
County bar passed resolutions that were highly eulogistic of his 
character; and the press of the State paid glowing tributes of re- 


■=^— — — = — ^=t k 


spect to his memory . Said the Chicago Tribune : " Mr. Church 
has been, during the past fifteen years, one of the leading minds of 
the State, and although he has held few public oflices, his in- 
fluence has been felt as that of a man of mark on every occasion 
calling for the exercise of strong will, high courage and true elo- 
quence." He was a man of sterling integrity, as well as of brill- 
iant intellect. 

Amos B. Coon, of Marengo, is now the oldest practicing attor- 
ney in the county. He has held a prominent place at the bar for 
over forty years. From excessive modesty Mr. Coon declines to 
furnish the editor of this work a biographical sketch, but from a 
published account we glean the following facts : He was born in 
Towanda, Bradford Co., Pa., Feb. 12, 1815. In October, 1835, he 
came to McHenry County, and in 1845 opened a law office in 
Marengo. He followed surveying for a few years. From 1846 to 
1862 he was Master in Chancery in McHenry County; in 1851-2 
and in 1860-'4, was State's Attorney for the circuit in which the 
county was included; served as Provost Marshal for his congres- 
sional district from May, 1863, to October, 1865; has been Regis- 
ter in Bankruptcy since 1867, and has served on the County Board 
of Supervisors many successive terms. He is an earnest Republi- 
can, "a man of infinite jest and most excellent fancy," a good 
lawyer and a worthy citizen. Mr. Coon is the youngest of a family 
of twenty-one children by one mother. He married Miss Harriet 
A. Daman, of Ohio, in 1846, and is the father of three children, 
two of whom are living. 

Henry "W. McLean, widely known as a politician, is one of the 
oldest settlers of the county. He was born in Columbia County, 
N. T., March 10, 1808. His father, John D. McLean, was a Scotch- 
man, who came to America when young and served in the Revo- 
lutionary war. Henry W. was reared on a farm, and at the age of 
twenty-two commenced the study of law. In 1834 he was admitted 
to the bar in New York State, where he pursued his profession 
until 1836. He then came West to McHenry County, locating 
at McHenry, where he still lives. He was admitted to the bar of 
McHenry County in 1842. He figured prominently in the early 
politics of the county, and of late years has been a well-known 
worker in the Republican ranks. He has also been quite con- 
spicuous as a lobbyist. On account of his quaint humor and jovial 
nature Mr. McLean is sure to attract attention in whatever politi- 
cal gathering he appears. He was married in 1837 to Miss Adeline 

■•/ <5_ 


Lee, of Yandalia, who died in 1842. In 1849 he married Miss 
Ursula Northrnp, of McHenry. 

Anson Sperry, attorney at law, Marengo, 111., was born in Man- 
chester, Bennington Co., Vt., Oct. 1,1824, the youngest of five 
children of Anson J. and Lorraine (Pierpont) Sperry. His father, 
was an attorney, and in an early day moved to Plattsburg, N. Y. 
His mother was a descendant of Rev. James Pierpont, the first 
President of Yale College. The early life of our subject was spent 
in New York. Aug. 4, 1841, he came to Illinois and began the 
study of law with Judge Skinner, and was admitted to the bar in 
1845. He remained with Judge Skinner till the spring of 1847, 
when, May 7, he located in Marengo and began the practice of his 
profession. He was the second lawyer in the village. In the fall 
of 1848 he was elected Magistrate in a political contest between the 
north and south part of the township. About the same time he 
was appointed Postmaster and held the position till 1861. In 1853 
he, in company with Cornelius Lansing, opened a banking house, 
which they carried on till 1863. In 1863 he was appointed pay- 
master in the Army of the Cumberland. In August, 1865, he was 
transferred to Chicago, and the following November went to 
Springfield to assist in paying off the troops, and remained there 
till Dec. 3. Mr. Sperry was married Oct. 18, 1849, to Lucy, 
daughter of George Stevens, a produce and lumber merchant of 
Belvidere. They have four children — C. C, a physician of Chi- 
cago, 111.; Laura E., Edwin A., and Evelyn P. Mr. and Mrs. Sperry 
are members of the Episcopal church. He is a member of Harley 
Wayne Post, No. 169, G. A. R. 

Phineas W. Platt came to Woodstock in March, 1845. He 
was a native of Pennsylvania, studied law in Indiana and began 
its practice in Woodstock. He was one of the best lawyers that 
ever practiced in the county; not so eloquent as some, but sound, 
sensible and logical. Alonzo Platt — who was not a relative of 
Phineas — came soon after, and the two went into partnership as 
Platt & Piatt. They had an extensive practice. Alonzo went 
to California during the gold excitement; Phineas remained in 
Woodstock until 1851, then went to Texas, where he died several 
years later. 

Colonel Alonzo Platt practiced law in this county from 1846 
to 1850 in partnership with Phineas W. Platt, having their office 
in the old " Rat-hole." He went to the California gold regions in 
1850, and remained in the West until 1862, when he died in Yir- 


4-^7 ■ — - - - . — ». 


ginia City, Nev. He was a good lawyer, a strong Democrat and 
a stirring politiciau. He was born in Danbury, Conn., in 1816; 
served in the Wisconsin Legislature in 1844; studied law and 
began its practice in Woodstock. He served as State's Attorney, 
and was considered a very able man. 

Amos Cogswell settled in Hebron about 1847 and removed to 
Woodstock about three years later. In partnership with Charles 
McClure he had a good practice for several years. He was a 
strong and able lawyer. He is now a resident of Raymond, Clark 
Co., Dak. Mr. Cogswell studied law with Franklin Pierce, and 
after the latter became President, received a Government appoint- 
ment and moved to Washington. Both he and McClure went to 
Minnesota about 1859. 

Colonel Jame3 M. Strode was well known as one of the ablest 
of the early lawyers in Northern Illinois. He settled in Wood- 
stock in 1850 or 1851. He had already won distinction at the bar 
as a circuit lawyer by long practice in Galena and Chicago. He 
served as County Judge from 1854 to 1857. In the latter year he 
removed to Missouri, whence he went to Kentucky and died. He 
had a good legal mind, was good in argument, and as a story-teller 
had no superior in the State with the exception of Abraham Lincoln. 

Hon. Theo. D. Murphy, ex-Judge of the Circuit Court, is a 
native of Virginia. He was born June 12, 1826; came to McHenry 
County in 1845. On the 1st of January, 1851, he began the prac- 
tice of law in Woodstock, and has steadily devoted himself to the 
practice of his profession ever since, with the exception of twenty- 
one years upon the bench. He was chosen County Judge for a 
term of four years, and from 1862 to 1879, by successive re-elec- 
tions, he held the office of Judge of the Circuit Court for the circuit 
in which McHenry Connty was included. During the last three 
years of this time he was Chief Justice of the Appellate Court of 
Cook County, District No. 1. He established the Appellate 
Court in this district, designed the seal, procured record books, and 
completed all arrangements for opening it. In each of the high 
positions to which he has been chosen Judge Murphy has served 
with distinction and honor. 

Charles M. Willard settled in Woodstock about 1851, and 
went into partnership with Colonel L. S. Church. The partner- 
ship was dissolved after a few years. After practicing alone for a 
while he became the partner of James H. Slavin. Mr. Willard 
removed to Chicago about 1857. He was an able lawyer. 



Freeman Van Wiokle came to Woodstock from New York 
about 1852, and remained eight or ten years. For some time he 
was the partner of M. L. Joslyn. He was a successful lawyer. 
He removed to Michigan. 

Hon. Merritt L. Joslyn, for many years one of the foremost 
lawyers and politicians of Northern Illinois, is a native of the 
State of New York. He was born in Livingston County in 1827, 
and has resided in Illinois since 1839. As a lawyer and politician 
he is brilliant and eloquent. As a Legislator he has proved in- 
dustrious and rigidly devoted to the best interests of his constitu- 
ency. He was formerly a Democrat, and in 1 856 was a Buchanan 
elector. He is a recognized leader among the Republicans, and 
is one of the most vigilant partisans. He served as Captain in the 
Thirty-sixth Illinois Regiment during the late war. In 1864-'5 
he represented his district in the State Legislature; and in 1876 
he was elected State Senator by the large vote of 6,003, against 
3,485 for his opponent. He served with distinction in both bodies 
of the State Legislature, gaining a wide reputation for readiness, 
wit and eloquence. He has been a very useful member of his 
party ever since war issues came to the front, and now occupies 
the responsible positiou of Assistant Secretary of the Interior 
Department at Washington, to which place he was appointed by 
President Arthur in July, 1882. 

Hon. Wm. Kerr, deceased. — The subject of this notice was born 
in Delaware County, Ohio, Dec. 22, 1819. In 1839 he came to 
Illinois, then the " far West," and in the following year made his 
home in Boone County, where he soon became noted among the 
settlers as a man of great intellectual strength and ability. He 
had always a preference for the law, and quite early in his career 
as a pioneer he began the pursuit of it — not for gain, but merely 
as a pastime. Such a man was, of course, conspicuous above his 
fellows in a new settlement, and Mr. Kerr soon became the gra- 
tuitous counselor and general peacemaker of his neighborhood. 
He pursued this course with but little profit to himself, but with 
great benefit to the community, until the year 1857, when his 
friend, Hon. L. S. Church, persuaded him to remove to Wood- 
stock and devote himself to the law as a profession. Mr. Kerr 
yielded, became Mr. Church's law partner, and soon won dis- 
tinguished recognition as a lawyer. He served one term as 
County Judge, and died July 28, 1866, in the midst of another term. 
A local paper, chronicling his decease, spoke of him as follows : 





" His death has caused a vacancy on the bench, in the ranks of 
his profession, in his business connections, in the community, and 
particularly in the family circle, which can never he filled. As a 
member of society he was ever amiable, sociable, charitable and 
kind, never arrogating to himself superiority above the lowest, 
and never cringing below the highest, imitating neither the cox- 
comb nor the sycophant. As a counselor he was always candid 
and sincere, never espousing the wrong side because it was the 
side of his client and by being truthful he might lose a fee. As 
an advocate he was clear, logical and concise. The jurors whom 
he has addressed will remember that they were never afflicted by 
him with superfluous sentences or redundant words. As a judge 
he was always calm, dignified, dispassionate and right. He knew 
the law both intuitively and by study, and always declared it with- 
out fear or favor." 

H. S. Hanchett, a lawyer of fair ability, came to Woodstock in 
the latter part of the year 1857. Soon after he formed a partner- 
ship with M. L. Joslyn which continued until about 1862. HaD- 
chett then went into the army; during the war he was taken 
captive and starved to death in Anderaouville Prison. 

P. B. Enos, S. K. Paynter and George A. Austin were among 
the members of this bar in 1857. So also was Enos W. Smith, 
but he never practiced law. T. B. Wakeman, of Harvard, 0. K. 
Couch, and John S. Burrows, of Richmond, were practicing attor- 
neys in 1860. 

Hon. Flavel K. Granger, of McHenry, though best known as 
a successful business man, is a member of the McHenry County 
bar of long standing. Mr. Granger was born May 16, 1832, in 
Wayne County, N- Y. He passed his boyhood upon a farm at- 
tending the common schools until fifteen years of age. He then at- 
tended an academy for two years and afterward was a student in the 
Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, N. Y. At the age of eighteen he 
engaged in school-teaching which he followed for three terms. In 
the spring of 1853 he migrated westward and immediately began 
the study of the law in the office of Smith & Williams, at Wauke- 
gan, 111. In the fall of 1855 he was admitted to the bar. On ac- 
count of poor health and to obtain out-door exercise, he came to 
McHenry and engaged in stock-buying and grain-dealing. This 
has since been his principal business, although he has not neglected 
the law. His practice has been quite extensive and successful. 
In 1870 Mr. Granger was chosen Supervisor of the town of Mc- 



Henry, being the first Republican ever elected to the office. After- 
ward he was twice re-elected. In the fall of 1 872 the Republicans 
of McHenry and Lake counties elected him their Representative 
to the Legislature. To this office he was re-elected three times 
without opposition. Daring his last two terms he was speaker of 
the House, having the honor of being the first to preside in the new 
State capitol building. His course while speaker wa^ such as to 
win the highest encomiums of the press and people. From many 
tributes, we selected the following from an editorial in the Sunday 
Telegraph, of Chicago, May 11, 1879: 

"Mr. Granger, who is now in his fourth term, keeps a better 
run of the business of the House and knows better how to avail 
himself of the rules than any other member. He is well posted on 
every question of legislation; as a speaker he is easy and clear in 
his statements, always commanding the attention of his unruly 

Mr. Granger was married Jan. 18, 1859, to Miss Fannie Shirts> 
daughter of Henry and Thurza Shirts. Mrs. Granger died April 
27, 1868, aged twenty-eight years. Three children were born of 
this union — Ada, Almon C. and Charles H. Dec. 2, 1869, Mr. 
Granger married Miss Frankie E. Brown, a native of New York. 
They have one child — Edwin P. 

J. C. Smith, now a patent lawyer in Washington, practiced in 
Woodstock a short time after 1860. A lawyer named Burlingame 
came about the same time and remained a few months. 

T. B. Wakeman settled in the town of Alden in 1839 and was 
the only lawyer ever a resident of that town. He remained until 
1859, when he removed to Harvard, where he continued his profes- 
sion several years. He finally removed to Chicago where he died 
in 1882. He had a good practice while in this county and was 
considered a sound lawyer. In 1868 Mr. Wakeman's son, B. Thad- 
deus Wakeman, a graduate of the law department of the University 
of Michigan, became associated with his father's practice and re- 
mained a short time. 

J. B. Lyon, the next lawyer in Harvard after Mr. Wakeman, 
has practiced in that town for about twenty years. 

J. P. Cheever practiced law in Harvard about twelve years and 
ranked well among the profession. In 1883 he removed to Castle- 
wood, Dak. 

Albert W. Young, attorney at law, Harvard, was born at 
Windsor, Sherbrooke Co., Canada, Sept. 21, 1843, a son of Joseph 

.T-^r. . — ^ = 


"W. and Emily (Boynton) Young, his father a native of Antrim, 
Ireland, of Scotch-Irish descent, and his mother of Orleans County, 
Yt., of English and French descent. In the spring of 1865 the 
family moved to Will County, 111., and a year later to Kankakee 
County, where the mother died, Jan. 11, 1876. Five of a family 
of six children are living — A. W. ; E. E., of Egan, Dak.; Henry J., 
of Florence, Kas. ; Nellie, wife of Eobert Perry, of Dodge City, 
Kas.; Emily H., wife of Peter Yanderwater, Longview, Tex. 
Florence A. died in Canada, Feb. 29, 1860. A. "WVYoung received 
an academical education in Canada, and after coming to Illinois 
attended the Normal School at Normal, 111., two years. He then 
went to Millersburg, Ky., and taught a select school a year, and 
in 1870 came to McHenry County, and was Principal of the Eich- 
mond schools a year, of the Woodstock schools two years, and of 
the Harvard schools three years. In the meantime he studied law 
with J. P. Cheever, and Sept. 15, 1876, was admitted to the bar, 
and at once formed a partnership with Mr. Cheever. In November, 
1877, he was elected County Superintendent of Schools for a term 
of four years, and at the expiration of his term was appointed fo 
one year. In the spring of 1878 the partnership with Mr. Cheever 
was dissolved. Mr. Young has held the office of Town and City 
Clerk a number of years. Nov. 4, 1884, he was elected States 
Attorney of McHenry County on the Eepublican ticket. He is a 
member of the Eepublican Committee of the Eighth Senatorial 
District, embracing the counties of Lake, McHenry and Boone. 
He is a member of Harvard Lodge, No. 309, F. & A. M. ; Har- 
vard Chapter, No. 91, E. A. M., and Calvary Oommandery, No. 
25, K. T. 

John A. Paebish was born in Washington County, N. Y., 
Aug. 6, 1825. His parents were well-educated and influential 
people. He was educated in the common schools of his native 
State, at Salem Academy, Cambridge Academy, and the New 
York State Normal School at Albany, graduating from the latter 
institution about 1850. Subsequently he taught in the Brockport 
Academy, New York, at Columbus, Ohio, and at Marengo, Aurora 
and Woodstock, 111., until about 1859, when poor health obliged 
him to quit teaching. Soon after he was admitted to the bar, and 
began the practice .of law in McHenry County, which he con- 
tinued until his death, Feb. 7, 1882. He was then one of the 
older members of the McHenry County bar, honored in his pro- 
fession. Owing to a weakness of his lungs, he was never able to 



plead in court, but devoted himself to office work, having a good 
practice. He was successful as an insurance and pension agent 
and as a money loaner. He had amassed a competency and was 
a respected and honored citizen. In 1878 Mr. Parrish married 
Mrs. Julia White, who survives him. He was public spirited and 
of liberal views. He was a Mason of high degree. He held a 
number of local offices. 

William Jackson was born in Waterbury, Conn., Aug. 20, 1808, 
a son of Daniel and Polly (Frisbie) Jackson. In an early day four 
brothers came from Ireland to America; one, Daniel, settled in 
Maine; another, the father of Andrew Jackson, settled in South 
Carolina; John settled in Connecticut, and the fourth settled in 
Massachusetts. John reared a family of four boys, the second, 
Daniel, being the father of our subject. The maternal ancestors 
were natives of Scotland and came to America prior to the Revolu- 
tion and settled in New Haven County, Conn. The grandfather 
of our subject, Reuben Frisbie, served in that war. He was a 
brother of Jude Frisbie, a member of the Legislature thirty years. 
He married Ruth Seward, sister of Colonel Seward, of Revolution- 
ary fame, and aunt of Wm. A. Seward. Our subject's mother was 
a sister of Judge Frisbie, of Indiana. In 1819 Daniel Jackson 
moved to New York, in 1832 to Ashtabula County, Ohio, and in 
1843 to McHenry County, 111., where he died at the age of seven- 
ty-one years. William Jackson received a common school educa- 
tion and after reaching manhood engaged in the lumber business. 
He began reading law with his uncle, Judge Frisbie, in 1828, but 
was not admitted to the bar till 1859. Since then he has paid con- 
siderable attention to his profession. He came to McHenry 
County in 1838 and located in Algonquin Township, but subse- 
quently removed to the village of Nunda. He has been a promi- 
nent man in the county and has served as Justice of the Peace 
sixteen years. He has been twice elected Associate Judge, and 
was appointed Judge, vice Judge Carr, deceased. Politically he 
adheres to the Democratic party. He was married in Ashtabula 
County, Ohio, in 1832, to Lucy Babbitt. They have had five sons 
— Amos Seward, Streeter, Herman (an attorney of Oskosh, Wis.), 
Samuel and Frank. Mr. Jackson has been a member of the Chris- 
tian church fifty years. 

Hon. Ira Rozel Curtiss, son of R. M. and Rachel Curtiss, was 
born Sept. 9, 1836, at Mt. Morris, Livingston Co., N. Y. His 
parents were from New England and practiced through life the 

=^=- ^ 



industrious and economic habits so characteristic of the people of 
their birthplace. When about two years old his father died, leav- 
ing a large family to the care of his mother. His early boyhood 
was spent upon the home farm. At the age of sixteen he com- 
menced business for himself, by renting land upon the "Genesee 
Flats" and farming the same. This enterprise was a financial 
success, so that he accumulated money enough in one year to pay 
his expenses while taking a regular classical course of studies in 
college; and after spending three years in Antioch College, under 
Horace Mann, he entered the senior class of Union College, at 
Schenectady, N. Y., under Dr. Knott, and graduated in 1860, 
receiving the degree of "Bachelor of Arts." In February, 1861, 
he located at Marengo, McHenry Co., 111., where he has con- 
tinuously resided, excepting while in the Union army during the 
late Eebellion, having been mustered into the United States service, 
in Company D, Fifteenth Regiment Illinois Infantry Yolunteers, 
on May 24, 1861, and remained in the service until the following 
fall, when he was discharged on account, of ill-health and re- 
turned home. At the end of one year thereafter his health was 
restored, and then he was employed as clerk in the Provost-Mar- 
shal's office, for the major part of the time, until the close of the 
war, and while not so employed he prosecuted pension and bounty 
claims, studying law at spare intervals, until June, 1865, when he 
was admitted to the bar, since which time he has continued in the 
active practice of his profession. For several years he has been a 
member of the Board of Supervisors, and for the last two years 
its chairman, besides filling many minor and local offices in his 
town and county. In the fall of 1870 he was elected a Representative 
from McHenry County to the Twenty-seventh General Assembly, 
which commenced the revision of the laws under the then new 
Constitution and held four sessions. In 1876 he was elected State's 
Attorney and re-elected in 1880. During his eight years of service 
in that capacity he never had an indictment quashed and paid over 
to the school fund more money collected by him from fines than 
had ever before been paid to that fund from that source. In the 
fall of 1884 Mr. Curtiss was elected by his district to the State 
Senate by 4,799 majority, and is now representing the Eighth 
Senatorial District in the Thirty-fourth General Assembly. He 
has ever been an active worker and firm adherent to the principles 
of the Republican party. He takes a deep interest in the Grand 
Army of the Republic and was for two years Commander of Post 




No. 169, at Marengo. He is also an active worker in Masonry, 
being a member of his local lodges and has received the Thirty- 
second degree in Oriental Consistory. Mr. Curtiss was on May 
27, 1874, united in marriage to Josie, only child of Elisha and 
Mary Dayton, a lady whose literary tastes and domestic qualifi- 
cations form a fitting companion piece to her husband's active and 
busy life. 

Hon. Benjamin N. Smith was born in McHenry County, in 
August, 1838. His father, Nathaniel Smith, was one of the 
pioneer settlers of the county. Judge Smith received his 
academic education at different schools in Illinois and Wisconsin. 
In August, 1864, he enlisted in Company E, Ninety-fifth Illinois 
Infantry, and served uutil the close of the war. In April, 1866, 
he graduated from the law department of the University of Michi-' 
gan. The same year he opened an office in Woodstock, where he 
has since practiced. In 1869 he was elected County Judge, which 
position he held thirteen years. He was Master in Chancery four 
years. During the trial of Thomas and John Casey for the mur- 
der of Michael Lawler, he was the assistant of the prosecuting 
attorney. Judge Smith is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, a Mason of high standing, also connected with the G. A. R. 
and the A. O. U. W. He was married in 1866 to Miss Abbie B. 
Dake, of Woodstock, and is the father of two sons and two 

M. F. Ellsworth was born in Kochester, N. Y., Sept. 14, 1838, 
a son of Lewis and Nancy A. Ellsworth, natives of New York. 
In 1843 his parents moved to McHenry County, 111., where his 
father engaged in stock dealiug. His father died Feb. 12, 1881, 
aged seventy-five years, and his mother, July 31, 1851. He is a 
descendant of Judge Ellsworth, a Supreme Judge during the ad- 
ministration of President Washington. His grandfather, Thomas 
Secor, was a soldier in the war of the Revolution and was wounded 
seven times. He died in 1843 aged 108 years. Mr. Ellsworth 
received a good education and after leaving school went to Ken- 
tucky and taught till the breaking out of the Rebellion. In April, 
1861, he enlisted in Houghtaling's Light Artillery for three months, 
and at the expiration of his term enlisted in Company H, Thirty- 
sixth Illinois Infantry, and was elected Second Lieutenant of his 
company. He served seven months and then resigned on account 
of ill health. In July, 1862, he enlisted in the Ninety-fifth Illinois 
Infantry as a private. Feb. 28, 1863, he was commissioned Sec- 

-V s * 


ond Lieutenant, and May following First Lieutenant, serving till 
his discharge, Sept. 11, 1865. He participated in the siege of 
Vicksburg, Eed River campaign and battle of Guntown, where he 
was wounded in the hand and arm, and disabled for field duty. 
From Oct. 1, 1864, till discharged he served on court-martial duty. 
Alter his return home he began the study of law in the office of 
Church & Kerr, Woodstock, and in the fall of 1866 entered the 
law school at Ann Arbor, Mich., where he graduated in the spring 
of 1868, and was admitted to the bar. He practiced in Illinois a 
year, in JS'ew Hampton, Iowa, a year, and in Crete, Neb., four 
years. In 1874 he moved to Nunda, where he has builtup a large 
practice. Mr. Ellsworth was married December, 18G5, to Cornelia, 
daughter of Solomon and Luna Morey, of Ringwood, 111. They 
have three children — Edith A., Emma and Grace "W. Politically 
Mr. Ellsworth has affiliated with the Republican party, but of more 
recent date is a Prohibitionist. He is a member of Nunda Post, 
No. 226, G. A. R. Mrs. Ellsworth's father died in 1872 and her 
mother in 1879. 

James H Slavin was one of the ablest and best lawyers the 
county has ever had. He was born and reared in the county, and 
after practicing law about fifteen years, died Feb. 6, 1875, at the 
age of thirty-eight years. He was a self-made man, and rose to 
distinction in his profession through energy of character and per- 
sistent application. He had no flashy qualities, but his mind was 
far-seeing, analytical and discriminating. He was capable of 
grasping and unravelling the most intricate questions of law. He 
had a sound knowledge of the law, a good memory and solid 
judgment. These qualifications made him a formidable opponent 
in debate and an able contestant at the bar. In all that is essen- 
tial to the profession he was a good lawyer. He was kind and 
genial, and possessed an inexhaustible fund of humor. He kept 
aloof from politics, though taking an active interest in all ques- 
tions of moment in local and national affairs. He would never 
consent to be a candidate for any office, but devoted himself 
closely to his profession. His career was successful, though brief, 
and his life honorable. 

Hon. 0. H. Gillmore, County Judge, was born in Norfolk, St. 
Lawrence Co., N. Y., June 17, 1848. His parents, Harvey and 
Esther (Sawyer) Gillmore, came to McHenry County in 1854, 
where the mother is still living. Judge Gillmore received a 
common-school education, and graduated in 1873 from the law 


department of the University of Michigan, after pursuing his 
studies for some time under the tuition of A. B. Coon and Ira E. 
Curtiss, of this county. He began practicing in Woodstock in 
1873, and has been successful in his profession. In 1882 he was 
elected County Judge, and he is now serving in that office. He is 
a member of the Masonic order and an earnest Republican. Judge 
Gillmore married Miss Anna Granger, a native of Michigan. 

John M. Sottthworth, for a number of years a practicing at- 
torney of Woodstock, was born in Bradford, Vt., May 21, 
1839. In 1858 he settled in McHenry County, and April 19, 1861, 
enlisted in the Seventh Illinois Regiment, the first regiment 
organized in the State; Sept. 18, 1861, he entered Company H, 
Eleventh Cavalry, as Lieutenant; he served upward of five years, 
and left the army with the rank of Major. He was elected Sheriff 
of the county in 1866, and Clerk of the Circuit Court in 1868. He 
began the practice of law in Woodstock in June, 1873. In August 
of the same year he was appointed Commissioner of the Illinois 
State Penitentiary. He now practices his profession in Chicago. 

Hon. Richard Bishop, a lawyer and prominent business man of 
McHenry, is a native of New York. He was born in Gainesville, 
Wyoming Co., N. Y., Nov. 16, 1824. When Richard was but 
seven years of age his father, Hezekiah Bishop, was killed by a 
falling tree. This sad event left to the boy an inheritance of 
poverty, and he was early obliged to devote his labor to the support 
of the family. His first earnings were 10 cents per day at such 
labor as threshing grain with a flail longer than himself. When 
he became strong enough to use an ax, he cut wood for 20 and 
25 cents per cord. When about twelve years of age he went 
to live with a physician, and during the three years that he 
remained in his family endured trials well calculated to break the 
heart and constitution of a boy. Every spring he was compelled 
to attend to a sugar orchard of sixty-five trees, cutting the wood, 
gathering the sap, and carrying the sugar home with a yoke upon 
his shoulders. When fifteen years old he hired with a blacksmith 
for three years, his wages being $30 for the first year, $35 for the 
second, and $40 for the third. He worked faithfully and learned 
the trade rapidly, though laboring at some disadvantage, as he was 
obliged to stand on a stool in order to make himself tall enough to 
strike upon the anvil. After serving his time he followed his trade 
two years. He was then twenty years of age, and, like many a 
young man at that time, he decided to go West. In the spring of 


-9 J- 



184:4 he bade a sorrowful farewell to his mother and the little cot- 
tage that sheltered her, and in the silence of night shouldered his 
trunk and proceeded on foot and* alone a distance of two miles 
where a carriage, which he had engaged, awaited him. Mr. Bishop 
has since visited that home, and he has also had the pleasure of 
welcoming his mother to a more pretentious one in the West 
secured by his own exertions. He sailed on the boat Bunker 
Hill, and the day after his arrival in Chicago took the stage for 
Waukegau, where his brother resided. There he worked at his 
trade for several months, receiving $17 per month for his services. 
When harvest came he became a laborer in the field at $1.50 per 
day. After the harvest was over, in company with a man named 
McAllister, he started for MoHenry on foot. They were not to be 
deterred by the sloughs and lakes which lay in their way, but 
waded them with their clothes tied in a bundle upon their heads. 
In McHenry Mr. Bishop followed blacksmithing until January, 
when he went to Waukegan and secured a job cutting wood for 50 
cents per cord. The following spring he was again pursuing his 
trade in McHenry. The first year he earned enough to pay for 
eighty acres of land at $1.25 per acre, and at once made the invest- 
ment. This proved a profitable venture, and as fast as he was able 
he made other purchases, buying and selling with good results. 
From this humble beginning, in spite of reverses, fires, etc., Mr. 
Bishop has become the owner of a large portion of the business of 
McHenry. He owns a large grist-mill, a wagon manufactory, an 
agricultural implement store, a pickle factory, besides a farm of 
nearly 1,000 acres. In 1874 he engaged in the banking business 
in Woodstock, which he followed two years. He then bought a 
choice law library at a cost of over $1,000, acquainted himself 
thoroughly with the principles of the law and was admitted to the 
bar. In 1874 he was a member of the Legislature. He has served 
as Supervisor for fifteen years. In politics he is a straight forward 
Democrat. Mr. Bishop has taken all the degrees in Masonry. 
Oct. 19, 1849, he married Miss Mary Maurice, a native of New 
Yerk. She is still living, and the mother of one son and a 
daughter. The son, Ormus, died in 1879; the daughter, Lola, is 
the wife of Thomas Walch, of McHenry. The career of Mr. 
Bishop is an eloquent illustration of what energy and will can 
accomplish . 

C. H. Donnelly, son of Neill and Mary (McElroy) Donnelly, 
was born in Woodstock, Aug. 22, 1855. He was educated in the 

. 0) 


^ 51 

I 3 


common schools and at Notre Dame College, South Bend, Ind., 
graduating from that institution in 1872. In 1873 he began the 
study of the law in the office of Slavin & Smith, at Woodstock, 
and in 1878 entered upon the practice of his profession in this city. 
Of public stations, he has served as City Attorney, and as Public 
Administrator of the county four years. He is a member of the 
Catholic church, and is prominent in social circles. 

A. B. Coon, Jr., son of A. B. Coon, of Marengo, was born in 
Marengo, Feb. 17, 1855. He graduated from Oberlin College, 
Ohio, in 1877, read law in his father's office, and was admitted to ■ 
the bar in April, 1879. He practiced with his father until 1880, 
then removed to Woodstock and entered into partnership with 
Hon. M. L. Joslyn. Mr. Coon has taken a creditable rank among 
the members of the bar, and has a good practice. He is a member 
of the A. O . U. W. He was married in 1878 to Miss Ida Shores, 
of Marengo, and has two children. 

Albert E. Bourne was born in Bristol, Kenosha Co., Wis., 
in 1849. He was educated at tbe State University, Madison, Wis., 
graduating in 1872. After graduation he taught school and pur- 
sued the study of the law. In 1880 he was admitted to practice 
in the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois, and in July of the 
same year entered upon the practice of his profession as a member 
of the firm of Bourne & Gillmore, which partnership still con- 
tinues. Mr. Bourne has served as Captain of Company G, Third 
Illinois National Guard, and is a member of the Masonic and A. 
O. U. W. orders. In politics he is Republican. He married, in 
1872, Miss May L. Craig, who died Jan. 2, 1883. Three children 
of this union are living, and one deceased. 

C. P. Barnes, one of the youngest of the McHenry lawyers, was 
born in Dorr, McHenry County, Feb. 14, 1862, and is a son of 
Chas. P. Barnes, Sergeant of Company D, Ninety-fifth Regiment 
Illinois Volunteers, who was killed at Vicksburg in May, 1863. 
The subject of this notice read law in the office of Judge Gillmore, 
and afterward under Judge Smith. He was admitted to the bar 
before the Appellate Court of Chicago, March 9, 1883, and has 
since practiced in Woodstock. Mr. Barnes was married, in 1883, 
to Miss L. A. Young, of Woodstock. 

The first and only lawyer who ever practiced his profession in 
Huntley Village was Lawyer J. F. Casey, who put out his shingle 
in the spring of 1884. He is one of McHenry County's youngest 
sons, and one that she may well bo proud of. His natural talent, 



together with his perfect knowledge of law, places him among the 
first members of McHenry County bar. He was born in Grafton 
Township, March 6, 1858. He is a son of Daniel Casey, who was 
a full cousin of Judge Casey's, whose superior legal talent is recog- 
nized through this section of the county. Mr. Casey received his 
education principally in Huntley, and after teaching several years, 
during which time he devoted considerable time in the study of 
natural sciences, he entered the law office of Judge Kanstead, of 
Elgin, where he studied law eighteen months, and then entered the 
office of Judge Lovell, of Elgin, where he pursued his studies till 
April 7, when he was admitted to the bar in Chicago. He stood 
highest in the examination with thirty-five others who were examined 
and admitted at the same time. Mr. Casey's first appearance be- 
fore the County Court was with five cases. One of his first cases 
was in the Appellate Court of Chicago. Mr. Casey is a young man 
who by his own exertions has brought himself to his present envi- 
able position, and those who know him predict great achievements 
for him in his profession. 

I s 

±°- - 



Introduction. — Early Physicians. — Their Character and Ex- 
periences. — Prevalence of Fever and Ague in Early Times. 
— The Climate. — Its Generally Healthful Character. — 
The High Standing of McHenry County Physicians. — 
Historical and Biographical Record. — Mention of Prominent 
Doctors, Early and Late. — Physicians of the Several Towns 
and Villages of the County. 

The life of a medical practitioner in a newly settled country is 
generally one of toil and hardship . Compensation is usually meager, 
and however extensive may be the physician's practice, much of it 
must be rendered gratuitously on account of the poverty of his 
patients. A strong constitution and abundant patience is requisite 
to success; and success frequently means on the part of the physi- 
cian the consciousness that he has performed his duty^well. 

The first who prescribed for the "°k and suffering in the county, 
so far as can be learned, was Dr. Christy G. Wheeler, who located 
at McHenry shortly before it became the county seat. He was not 
a regularly educated physician, but had studied the Thompsonian 
method. About the same time, or perhaps in the following year, 
1837, Dr. A. B. Cornish located near the present village of Algon- 
quin. He was a good doctor for those days, and found plenty to 
do in the country. Yet from the fact that he started i erry, it 
would seem that his practice was not sufficiently lucrative to justify 
him in depending upon it for a livelihood. Wheeler became a 
merchant and does not seem to have devoted very much of his time 
to medicine. Dr. Luke Hale, who was in no sense of the word a 
competent physician, came into the county soon after the two first 
mentioned, and for several years exercised what knowledge he had 
in the interests of suffering humanity. Many of the early settlers 
would not trust entirely to their home physicians, and in critical 
cases frequently sent to the older settlements east of Fox Eiver for 
a doctor. But as the county grew in population, the number of 



W. ^rsuc fa & 



physicians increased, and in a few years all the settlers had reliable 
medical advisers within a short distance from their homes. 

Fever and ague was the chief complaint, and by far the most 
frequent among the early settlers. It was especially prevalent in 
the region lying along Fox River. Aside from this disease, from 
which few pioneer settlements in the West were ever entirely free, 
there was little sickness. The early settlers were generally men 
and women of strong constitutions and robust health. They never 
called a doctor unless their symptoms were alarming, but instead 
relied upon the efficacy, of herb teas and other simple remedies- 
Had it not been for fever and ague, doctors would have had but 
little to do. That disease disappeared as the country improved, and 
now few sections of the country can boast of a healthier population 
. than McHenry County. No great epidemics have ever visited the 
people. There is nothing in the condition of air or climate to 
cause disease; besides, the present generation, having its parent- 
age among the sturdy pioneers of Yankee stock, is free from 
inherited taints, and blest with good habits and vigorous health. 
The physicians of McHenry County have generally been men 
of more than average ability in their profession. Not a few have 
been men of culture and extensive scholarship. The present prac- 
titioners are almost without exception reckoned among the most 
honorable citizens, and in their professional character are possessed 
of judgment, faithfulness, knowledge and skill, such as entitle 
them to rank among the most useful members of society. 


The first doctor in McHenry was Christy Gr. Wheeler, who came 
in 1837. He practiced medicine but little. Opening a store soon 
after he came he followed mercantile business until he died. 

Next was Dr. Luke Hale, who does not seem to have been 
remarkably well versed in medical science, nor did he have a large 

Dr. Bosworth, a well-educated and skillful physician, came 
next. Not caring to trust to the scanty returns to be derived from 
its practice, he brought with him a stock of goods and kept a store. 
He died about four years later. 

Dr. McAllister then practiced here four years. He removed to 
Oshkosh, Wis., and died there. Dr. Coleman, now of Iowa, was 
here for about five years. He was succeeded by Dr. Flavel, from 
Virginia, who remained about six years, then returned to his 



native State. Dr. Ballou, now of Nunda, practiced here about 
five years. Dr. Mellendy had a good practice here for about ten 
years and was much esteemed as a physician. He went to Cali- 
fornia where he died a few years ago. 

Dr. H. T. Brown, who began practice with Dr. Coleman, still 
resides and pursues his profession here. After him came Dr. 
Polly, who remained five years, then went to Indiana. Dr. Cra- 
vens, from Virginia, practiced about ten years in this place. He 
removed to Indianapolis, Ind., where for some time he was a sur- 
geon in the insane asylum. He is now a Government physician 
in Colorado. 

Dr. Beers, a man of excellent scholarship and ability, practiced 
in this town for over eighteen years. 

The present resident physicians are Drs. Brown, Howard, Fegers ' 
and Childs, the latter a homeopath. 

Dr. Christy G. Wheeler, although not strictly a physician, 
was the first who bore the title of "Dr." in the old county seat, 
McHenry. He was born in Dunbarton, N. H., March 24, 1811, 
and was a brother of Rev. Joel Wheeler. He was ordained a 
Baptist minister in Keene, N". H., and preached for two years. 
Having a knowledge of medicine, he concluded to change climate 
for his health, which was failing. He, with his wife and two 
children, came to Illinois in the fall of 1836. After stopping a 
few weeks at Geneva, they came to McHenry, being the first white 
family to locate in the township. The following May the stake 
was driven, locating the county seat at McHenry, Mr. Wheeler 
paid the cost of the survey of the town, $100. He purchased a 
small store and kept the first postoffice in the county. He was 
afterward Recorder of Deeds and held that office at the time of his 
death, March 28, 1842. 

Dr. O. J. Howard, a physician of large practice in McHenry, 
is a native of Madison County, N. T. He was born Oct. 
12, 1816. His ancestors were of English origin. His grand- 
father, John Howard, served in the Revolutionary war, was 
captured at Crown Point, and made his escape by jumping from 
the window of a two-story house and running for life while the 
bullets fell fast about him. His father, Joseph Howard, served 
in the war of 1812. Being in Canada at the commencement of 
hostilities, he was impressed into the British service, from which 
he fled, to join the American army at the first opportunity. Dr. 
Howard in early life worked at shoemaking and farming, hiring 



out at the latter for $5 per month. His educational privileges 
were few, but he took advantage of every opportunity for self- 
improvement. In 1845 he went to Indiana where he studied medi- 
cine, working part of the time to pay his expenses. Here he 
studied and practiced for five years, obtaining a thorough knowl- 
edge of the science. In 1850 he returned to Ohio and went to 
Cleveland to attend college. Having no money, he was obliged to 
go in debt for his tuition. He graduated in the spring and began 
practice in Liverpool, Ohio, .where he remained seventeen years. 
He then removed to McHenry, where he has since pursued his 
profession with conspicuous success. Dr. Howard is a zealous 
friend of education. He is a member of the Kepublican party and 
of the Masons and Odd Fellows. While in Ohio he held the office 
of Postmaster during Lincoln's administration. In 1836 he mar- 
ried Miss Juliette Gould, a native of New York. They had six 
children, four of whom are living — Lodema, wife of Curtis Har- 
vey, Lake County; Jane, wife of Simon Kennedy, McHenry; Selora, 
wife of James "Walch, McHenry, and A. R. Howard, of McHenry. 
Mrs. Howard died Nov. 3, 1874, aged fifty-nine years. In 1875 he 
married Rebecca, widow of Samuel King. 

Dr. Edwin A. Beers (deceased) was born in Fairfield, Herki- 
mer County, New York, in 1827; read medicine under Dr. Sweet, 
of that town, and graduated in 1853 from the medical department 
of the University of the city of New York. In 1855 he located at 
Crystal Lake, in this county, where he practiced four years. He 
then removed to McHenry where he died Nov. 26, 1879. In 1862 
he was chosen Surgeon in the Seventy-second Illinois Eegiment, in 
which capacity he served nearly two years, when failing health 
compelled him to resign. He married Miss Esther M. Salisbury 
in 1856. She survives him. 

Dr. Henry T. Brown, an old and respected physician of large 
practice, is a native of Manchester, Ontario Co., N. Y. He 
was born Nov. 1, 1823, and is the eldest son of Benjamin B. 
and Ann L. (Woy) Brown. His father, a veteran of the war of 
1812, was a pioneer emigrating to Illinois in 1837. He held sev- 
eral offices of trust and was much respected. Dr. Brown was 
educated in the public schools and followed mercantile pursuits for 
four years. He studied medicine for three years under Dr. 
McAllister, and in 1850 graduated from the Eush Medical College, 
Chicago. He then went to California and remained two years, 
engaging in mining to some extent, but following his profession 


, 4^- — = - — ' 


principally. He then returned and has since pursued his profes- 
sion uninterruptedly and won an enviable reputation. Dr. Brown 
was married June 1, 1852, to Elmira, daughter of Abijah and 
Thankful Smith, natives of Vermont. They have two children. 
Dr. Brown has been connected with the Republican party from its 

Dr. C. H. Fegers, son of John and Gertrude Fegers, was born 
in the kingdom of Prussia in 1846. His father, a physician of 
extensive practice in his native country, came to America with his 
family in 1850 and located at West Point, Iowa. There he pur- 
sued his profession until 1876, when he returned to Germany on a 
visit, and while there, died of apoplexy. His widow is still liv- 
ing in Iowa. Dr. C. H. Fegers was educated in the schools of 
"West Point, Iowa, and subsequently followed the druggist's busi- 
ness in Keokuk and Burlington for six years. He then began the 
study of medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. Andrews, of Chi- 
cago, meanwhile attending the Chicago Medical College. Grad- 
uating in the spring of 1879 he began his practice at Johnsburg, 
McHenry County, moving thence to McHenry in June, 1883. 
June 9, 1880, Dr. Fegers married Miss Alice McGhool, daughter 
of Sylvester McGhool, a native of Ireland, now living near Wood- 
stock, 111. 

J. H. Soothill, M. D., of Ringwood, is a native of McHenry 
County, born at Harvard, May 25, 1860. His parents, Joseph and 
Charlotte Soothill, were born in England, and came to this country 
in 1856. His father follows the occupation of contractor and 
builder. Dr. Soothill worked at carpentry in boyhood. He gradu- 
ated from the Harvard High School, and at the age of eighteen be- 
gan the study of medicine. In the fall of 1880 he entered the 
Chicago Medical College, and for three years attended the college 
and in the hospital. He graduated March 27, 1883, and soon 
after located at Prophetstown, Whiteside County, where he prac- 
ticed a few months. Poor health obliged him to quit for a time. 
On recovering his health he located at Ringwood, where he already 
has a good practice. 


Dr. Almon W. King settled in Woodstock soon after the town 
was founded, and was the first physician. 

Dr. Luke Coon came from Indiana in 1849, remained about two 
years, and had a small nractice. 




Dr. A. F. Hedger came from New York State to Algonquin in 
1849. After practicing about eighteen months at Algonquin he 
removed to Woodstock. Here he bought an interest in a drug 
store, and continued his profession in connection with the drug 
business for about eighteen months, when he died. 

Dr. A. F. Merritt came from Geneva, Wis., in 1853, and in 
partnership with Dr. O. S. Johnson (see biography), bought Hed- 
ger's drug store, and formed a partnership in the practice of medi- 
cine, which continued about three years. Merritt then bought out 
his partner and continued to practice for some time. Johnson 
practiced till his death. 

Other physicians besides those mentioned in the following bio- 
graphical sketches have practiced in Woodstock, generally for 
short periods. The city practitioners are now meu of acknowl- 
edged worth, well skilled in their profession. 

Dr. George E. Stone. — The subject of this notice was born in 
Monktown, Vt., April 4, 1803. His father was a distinguished 
physician, and he pursued his medical studies in his native town 
under his direction. Dr. Stone graduated at the medical college 
at Oastletoa, Vt., when but a youth, too young according to the 
rules of the institution to receive the degree M. D., which was 
conferred upon him when he reached his majority. He began 
practice in Monktown and labored zealously and successfully. He 
was a close student, and possessed an analytical and discriminating 
mind. He stood at the head of his profession in his native State, 
with few equals and no superiors. In 1857 he settled in Wood- 
stock, but strictly adhered here to a previously formed resolution 
not to practice in the West, occasionally yielding to the solicitation 
of his friends and the earnest requests of resident physicians to 
give his opinion in critical cases. Dr. Stone died in Woodstock, 
Aug. 23, 1876. He was not only eminent in his profession, but 
his mind was stored with the richest treasures of learning. In 
literature, science, ethics and theology he was well versed. He 
was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was highly 
honored by all who knew him. 

D. C. Green, M. D., is a son of John and Anna (Hechler) Green, 
the former a native of Dutchess County, N. Y., and the latter of 
German descent. John Green came to McHenry County in 1838, 
and erected the second house in Seneca, where he took up 320 
acres of land. In 1850 he crossed the plains to California. His 
return was expected as late as 1861, but it is supposed that he was 

Q »_ 


murdered on the return journey. His wife died at Marengo iu 
1867, leaving six children, all of whom are living. D. C. Green 
received his primary education in the common schools and in the 
Academy at Belmont, N. Y. Subsequently he entered the Hudson 
River Institute, near Hudson, "N. Y. He studied medicine in Ma- 
rengo, 111., and in 1858 became a student in the office of Dr. 
Hiram Hoyt, at Syracuse, N". Y. He began the practice of medi- 
cine in Joy, "Wayne Co., N. Y. Two years later he was called into 
service in the Fairfax Hospital at Alexandria, Va. He spent the 
winter of 1862-'3 in JBellevue Hospital, New York, after which he 
opened an office and practiced in Juno County, Wis. In 1871 he 
came to Woodstock where he has since been almost continuously 
engaged in practice. During this t'une he attended the Jefferson 
Medical College, Philadelphia, during two sessions, and received a 
diploma from that institution. Dr. Green was married in Wayne 
County, N. Y, in 1860, to Miss Etta Van de Bogart, a native of 
Ontario County, N. Y. He has acquired a large practice, and is 
not only a reliable physician but a well-known and highly esteemed 

Dk. "W. H. Buck was born in Lycoming County, Pa., in 1840, 
and came to Illinois with his mother when young. He was edu- 
cated in the common schools, and then engaged in the work of 
teaching, at the same time pursuing the study of medicine. He 
attended the Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago in 1865-'6, 
and continued studying with Dr. Mesick, of Marengo, 111. In 
1866 he began practicing at Richmond; in 1867 removed to 
"Woodstock, and in 1869 entered the Homeopathic Medical College 
of New York, where he graduated in 1870. Since that time he 
has been steadily engaged in the practice of his profession in 
"Woodstock, where he has an excellent reputation both as a physi- 
cian and as a citizen. 

De. Y. B. Anderson was born in Girard, Erie Co., Pa., in 1847. 
He is a son of Amos W. and Almira (Allen) Anderson, natives of 
Pennsylvania; they came to Seneca, McHenry County, in 1854, 
where they still reside. Dr. Anderson was educated in the schools 
of "Woodstock and read medicine under the tuition of Dr. J. 
Northrup. In 1868 he entered the Rush Medical College, from 
which he graduated in 1871. The same year he began practice in 
Central, Ford Co., 111., where he remained two years. He next 
practiced in Buchanan County, Iowa, for three years, then located 
at McHenry, where he remained until the spring of 1883, when he 



removed to Woodstock. He was married in 1875 to Miss Isabella 
A. Todd, a native of Connecticut, and has two children. Dr. 
Anderson is a member of the Masonic order and of the A. O. U.W. 
William W. Cook, M. D., is a son of Thomas M. and Sarah 
(Coquillette) Cook, and was born in Seneca, McHenry County, 
Dec. 31, 1855. His parents were both natives of Brooklyn, N. Y., 
and were among the earliest settlers in Seneca, where they still 
reside. Four of their children are living — Laura, wife of John 
Deitz, Sibley, Iowa; Charles E., a physician at Huntley, 111.; 
Edward H., and the subject of this sketch. William W. Cook 
received his primary education at Naperville, and at the age of 
nineteen began studying medicine in the office of Dr. Isher, of 
Chicago. In 1878 he graduated from the medical department of 
the Northwestern University, Chicago. The same year he began 
practicing in Woodstock, where he has gained a good practice. 
He has been particularly successful in surgery, having secured 
through devotion to his studies and the tuition of his preceptor a 
thorough surgical education. May 12, 1878, he married Miss 
Ella, daughter of IT. T. Hyde, Esq., of Seneca, by whom lie has 
one child. Dr. Cook has served several years as the Coroner of 
this county. His father has also been prominent in local affairs, 
and the family is among the oldest and most respected in the 


S. Fillmore Bennett, M. D., is a son of Robert and Sally 
(Kent) Bennett, who were married Oct. 24, 1821. Mrs. Bennett 
died at Lake Zurich, Lake Co., 111., on her eightieth birthday. 
For years she had predicted that she would die on that day. 
Robert Bennett is still living at the age of eighty-four. Dr. Ben- 
nett is the eighth of a family of eleven children — seven sons and 
four daughters — all of whom lived to become the heads of families. 
He was born in the village of Eden, Erie Co., N. Y., June 21, 
1836. When two years of age he came with his parents to Plain- 
field, 111., where the family resided three years; then removed to 
Lake Zurich, 111., and settled upon a farm. Here the subject of 
this sketch passed his boyhood, laboring on the farm, attending 
the district school in the winter, and in his spare time reading; all 
the books to which he could gain access. At the age of sixteen he 
entered the academy at Waukegan, 111. At the age of eighteen he 
began teaching school at Wauconda, 111. In 1858 he entered the 
University of Michigan, leaving at the end of the university year 



to take charge, as Principal, of the Richmond, 111., public schools. 
He resigned this place in 1861 and became associate editor and 
proprietor of the Elkhorn (Wis.) Independent with Frank Leland, 
afterward U. S. Consul to Hamilton, Canada. In 1864 he enlisted 
in Company D, Fortieth Regiment of Wisconsin "Volunteers, and 
served during his term of enlistment as Second Lieutenant. Sell- 
ing his newspaper interest he opened a drug store in Elkhorn in 
1866, and then began the study of medicine. Five years later he 
returned to Richmond and again had charge of the public schools 
for one year. In 1874 he graduated M. D. from Rush Medical 
College, being the valedictorian of his class. Soon after he began 
the practice of medicine at Richmond, where he still resides, enjoy- 
ing a large practice and holding the position of U. S. Examining 
Surgeon for Pensioners, to which he was appointed soon after 

But it is as a man of letters that Dr. Bennett has won his greatest 
laurels. When a mere lad he began contributing verse to news- 
papers and from that time onward he has been a voluminous writer; 
but as* his work has been mainly for the daily and weekly press 
of the country, it is largely lost amid the mass of similar work from 
tens of thousands of writers. During his residence in Elkhorn he 
became associated with J. P. Webster, the musical composer, then 
best known to the world as the author of the famous song 
"Lorena." For several years they published together numerous 
songs in the form of sheet music, many of which became very 
popular. During this time they published three musical works — 
"The Beatitudes," a Sabbath-school cantata; "The Cantata of the 
Great Rebellion," and "The Signet Ring," a book to which Mr. 
Bennett contributed nearly a hundred original hymns. The 
"Sweet Bye and Bye" was first published in the " Signet Ring." 
This hymn alone entitles the author to an enduring place among 
the poets of our land. The following extracts from a newspaper 
article written by Dr. Bennett explains the origin of this beautiful 
song : 

"Mr. Webster, like many musicians, was of an exceedingly ner- 
vous and sensitive nature and subject to periods of depression in 
which he looked upon the dark side of all things in life. On such 
an occasion he came into my office. Walking to the stove, he 
turned his back to me without speaking. I was at my 
desk, writing. Presently, I turned to him and said, ' Webster, 
what is the matter now?' ' It is no matter,' he replied, ' it will 

• W, ^ ^-^T 


be all right bye and bye! ' The idea of the hymn came to me like 
a flash of sunlight, and I replied, 'The sweet bye and bye! Why 
would not that make a good hymn ? ' ' May be it would, ' said he 
indifferently. Turning to my desk, I penned the words of the 
hymn as fast as I could write. In the meantime two friends came 
in. I handed the hymn to Mr. Web3ter. As he read it his eye 
kindled and his whole demeanor changed. Stepping to the desk, 
he began writing the notes. Presently he requested his violin to 
be handed to him and he played the melody. In a few moments 
more he had the four parts of the chorus jotted down. I think it 
was not over thirty minutes from the time I took my pen to write 
the words before the two friends who had called, Mr. "Webster and 
myself were singing the hymn in the same form in which it after- 
ward appeared in the 'Signet Ring.' 

" While we were singing, Mr. E. E. Crosby, now a resident of 
Richmond, 111., came in, and after listening a while, with tears in 
his eyes, uttered the prediction, ' That hymn is immortal ! ' I 
think it was sung in public shortly after, for within two weeks 
almost every child on the streets was singing it." 

We need not comment upon the world-wide renown which this 
hymn has gained. It is now published in numerous collections 
of sacred music in America, is translated into various foreign 
tongues and sung in every land beneath the sun. A beautiful 
Chinese translation of the hymn hangs in the Doctor's office. 

De. Samuel E. Waed was born on the island of Ceylon, Aug. 7, 
1842. His father, Dr. Nathan Ward, was a missionary physician, 
sent by the American Board of Foreign Missions, in 1833, to the 
island of Ceylon, where he remained until 1847. The elder Dr. 
Ward was born in New Hampshire in 1804, and graduated from 
the Maine Medical School, Brunswick, Me., about 1831. He 
began practice in Dover, N. H., where he remained two years 
before going to India. In India, besides practicing medicine, he 
edited a newspaper styled the " Morning Star," taught in a 
theological seminary, and translated several English works into the 
Tamel language. After returning to his native land, he practiced 
his profession in Burlington, Vt., for six years, then engaged in 
preaching the gospel as a Congregationalist. After following this 
work for about six years, he decided to return to his former field 
of labor. He died at sea, when three weeks out from Boston, 
Nov. 24, 1860, and his remains received an ocean burial. His 
widow continued^ the journey, and labored five years as a mission- 

7 <r »- -» o V 


ary in India. She returned to her native land in 1865, and died 
in New York in the same year. Dr. S. K. Ward received his 
early education in "Vermont, attending the Misisquoi Valley 
Academy, the St. Johnsbury Academy, and the Burlington High 
School. He entered the University of Vermont in 1860, and 
graduated in 1864. He then went to "Washington, D. C, and 
read medicine under Dr. H. B. Trist. He graduated from the 
medical department of Georgetown College, in March, 1868, then 
went to St. Louis and spent several months in the city hospitals. 
The next year he spent in New Hampshire, reviewing his studies. 
In 1870 he entered upon the practice of his profession in Chicago, 
removing thence to Bichmond, his present home, in 1874. He was 
married May 9, 1871, to Miss Annah F. Fisher, daughter of L. G. 
Fisher, of Chicago. They have two children living and three 
deceased. Dr. Ward has s&rved as President of the village board 
and in other local offices. 


Dr. Royal Sykes, from Vermont, located in the western part of 
the town of Hebron in 1848, and resided and practiced here until 
1876, when he removed to Chicago, where he died in 1878. 

Dr. J. H. Giddings was the first physician in the village of 
Hebron, where he settled about 1858. He went into the army 
during the war and remained in Hebron but a short time after his 

In the fall of 1865 Dr. E. O. Gratton, from New York, settled 
in this village, where he still practices. Dr. J. M. Mansfield prac- 
ticed herefrom 1876 to 1880. He was succeeded by Dr. H. B. 
Cheesbro, who remained a little over two years, removing in the 
fall of 1883. Dr. Alfred Turner came in November, 1883, and 
still resides here. Hebron has also a lady physician, Dr. Catha- 
rine Slater. 

Dr. E. O. Gratton, subject of this sketch, was born in Sandy 
Creek, Oneida Co., N Y., May 24, 1824; his mother died Sept. 
10, 1827, and with his father he moved to Cattaraugus County, 
N. Y., February, 1828, where he received his education. The study 
of medicine, surgery and care of the sick was always foremost in his 
mind. The'first case ever attended by him was James McGowan, 
an Irishman who was taken with pleurisy, and chose him as 
his physician; he carried him through successfully, though only 
sixteen years of age. At the age of twenty-one "years he married 



Caroline Walton and commenced farming in Mansfield, Cattarau- 
gus County, where they lived until 1860. During this time five 
children were born — Fred E., Christina A., Sidney A., Lydia A. 
and Rosina. In March, 1860, leaving his family with Mrs. Furness, 
Mrs. Gratton's mother, he, with Charles C. Hull, emigrated 
to Coles County, 111., where he bought an interest in a large farm 
with a determination to make that a business, and in the fall sent 
for his family. It being so near the breaking out of the Rebellion, 
this enterprise was a failure, and the 7th of August, 1862, he went 
to Chicago in company with George Galloway, and they on the 
8th of August enlisted in Company B, Seventy-second Illinois 
Infantry. The first duty performed was to treat the first man 
taken sick in the regiment. He drilled three times in the com- 
pany and then was assigned to .the regimental hospital, where 
he remained doing all kinds of duty from nurse to physician and 
surgeon. In the summer of 1863, after the surrender of "Vicks- 
burg, came a call to him from the officers of the Twelfth Louisiana 
Regiment (colored) to take the position as Surgeon of that regi- 
ment. He positively refused, but by an order from General 
Grant he was detached from his regiment and assigned to duty as 
Surgeon pro tern. He reported to headquarters of said regiment, 
and the same time put in application for relief, and after thirty- 
days of hard work his application was returned approved by 
General Grant. During the stay with said regiment he had to 
prescribe for from 185 to 450 patients each day. After returning 
to his regiment he had to take the position of Assistant-Surgeon, 
some times having all the work to do in the medical department. 
After the war closed, in the fall of 1865, he came to Chicago to 
take a course of lectures in Rush Medical College, and on Jan. 27, 
1866, came to Hebron and began the practice of medicine and 
surgery. In October, 1866, lie sent for his family who were in 
Western New York. They joined him Oct. 17, in Hebron, where 
they have since lived. Gertie H., the youngest daughter, was 
born June 6, 1871. The practice has been successful. He ex- 
pects to remain and continue the practice of medicine, surgery 
and the sale of drugs, usually kept in a country drug store. 


The first physician in this town was Dr. McCay, who remained 
about a year. He was succeeded by Dr. White who died here 
after about two years' practice. Dr. Ballinger came next and 




remained about a year. Then came Dr. Hart, who still remains. 
Dr. Wm. B. Hart was born in Burgeon, Genesee Co., N. Y., 
Jan. 4, 1812, and was the third of a family of five children. His 
father, Timothy F. Hart, was a shoemaker by trade. Dr. Hart's 
boyhood was passed in his native county where he received an 
academic education and learned his father's trade. He followed 
shoemaking until twenty-six years of age. He engaged in the 
study of medicine under Dr. J. J. Treat, and in 1849 graduated 
from the Buffalo, N. Y., Medical College. Beginning his practice 
with his preceptor in the city of Rochester, he continued there one 
year, removing thence to Woodstock, 111., where for five years he 
had a large and successful practice. He then removed to Green- 
wood, where he has since resided, sustaining an excellent reputa- 
tion as a physician and enjoying the respect of the entire com- 
munity. Dr. Hart was married in 1838 to Miss Phoebe M. Dewey, 
daughter of David S. Dewey, of Brockport, N. Y. They have had 
four children. Three sons are living and one daughter is deceased. 
Mary A. died at the age of six years. Henry P. is a farmer and 
resides in this State. He was a private in Company H, Ninety- 
fifth Regiment 'Illinois Volunteers, and rooe from that grade to 
the rank of Captain in the second year of his service. William C. 
is a farmer, residing in Colorado. Charles Y. is an engineer on 
the Union Pacific Railway in Wyoming Territory. 


About 1842 Dr. Mesick, now of Marengo, began the practice of 
medicine at Franklinville, within the present town of Seneca. Some 
two years later he had a rival in the person of Dr. Cool, now of Chi- 
cago. Both left a short time afterward. Later came Dr. Clayton, 
who remained only about a year. Franklinville has had no resi- 
dent physician for several years. 


Dr. Bennett was the only physician that ever settled in this 
town. He removed here nearly thirty years ago, and resided here 
until recently. He is now in Woodstock. 


Dr. David Burton was the first physician in this place. He 
came in 1844 and practiced until his death. 
He was succeeded by Dr. H. G. Terwillager, then by Dr. Reed, 




in 1850, who remained about five years. Then came Drs. A. 
Hedger, Winslow and Hunt, Johnston, ¥ra. Winchester, Bentley 
and Hait, most of whom remained but for short periods. Dr. 
Young was the next physician. About 1860 Dr. Dean settled 
here. He was accidentally drowned while skating not long after- 
ward. Dr. Wm. A. Nason next settled here and still remains. 
Among others who have come since Dr. Nason and remained for a 
short time have been Drs. Robinson, Hill and D. H. Merrill. 

De. David Burton, deceased, practiced in Algonquin from 1841 
until his death in 1850. He was universally esteemed. He was 
well skilled in his profession and a fine scholar. He was of Eng- 
lish descent and was the adopted son of R. R. Sherwood, of Algon- 
quin. He was educated in the seminary at Nunda and graduated 
at Geneva College. 


The first physician who located in this place was Dr. H. W. 
Johnson, who came about 1856 and practiced until his death, a 
period of twelve years or more. 

Dr. H. W. Richardson came next and remained a few years. 
He removed to Chicago, and thence to Lena, 111., where he now 

Dr. A. C. Bingham came next and is still practicing here. 
About the same time with Dr. Bingham came Dr. D. A. Wade, 
who remained but a short time. 

The present practitioners are Drs. A. C. Bingham, H. T. Wood- 
ward, C. M. Johnson and Charles Goddard. 

Hoeace W. Johnson, M. D ., deceased, was the first physician of 
Harvard. When he first came to the county, in 1856, the site ol 
Harvard was a corn-field. Judge Ayers was the only man living 
in the village proper. Dr. Johnson was born in New York City, 
Dec. 16, 1810, the eldest of three children of Jacob and Maria 
(Johnson) Johnson. He was educated in New York, and gradu- 
ated from the old Rutger College, his preceptor being Valentine 
Mart. He practiced his profession in New York City till twenty- 
six years of age. In 1836 he came West and located in Kenosha, 
Wis., remaining there till his removal to Harvard. From that 
date till his death, Feb. 24, 1871, he was one of the leading physi- 
cians of the county. He was married Nov. 6, 1842, in Bloomfield, 
Wis., to Adaline A. La Tour, a native of New York City, born 
Aug. 27, 1823, a daughter of James and Christina Kipp) La Tour. 


They had a family of four sons and two daughters; but one is living 
— Col. M. Johnson, M. D., of Harvard. Mrs. Johnson's grand- 
father, Anthony W. La Tour, came to America from France with La- 
fayette, and was subsequently an officer in the Eevolutionary war. 
During Lafayette's visit he rode in the carriage with him, being the 
only one then living that came over with him during the war. 
Her parents came West in the spring of 1841, and settled in Wal- 
worth County, Wis. 


The first physician who located here was Dr. Frazier, who re- 
mained but a short time. Next came Dr. Horn, whe remained 
until the spring of 1884, when he removed to Hammond, Ind. Dr. 
Launier came in 1879, and left in 1882. The present practitioners 
are Dr. Ballou and Dr. Watson. 

C. C. Watson, M. D., was born in Ontario, Canada, June 13, 
1850, a son of Hugh and Nancy (Best) Watson, natives of Penn- 
sylvania. His mother died in Canada in 1854, and his father in 
Missouri in 1858. His grandfathers, James Watson and James 
Best, were both natives of Pennsylvania and heroes of the Eev- 
olutionary war. When a boy C. C. Watson lived on a farm 
and had the benefit of the public school in the winter. He then 
taught for a time, and subsequently entered the medical depart- 
ment of Ann Arbor University, Mich. He remained there a year 
and then came to Illinois and worked on a farm and attended 
school till 1875, when he began reading medicine with Dr. Best, 
of Arlington, Cook County, remaining with him three years, and 
in the spring of 1878 graduated from Kush Medical College, 
Chicago. He immediately located in Nunda where he has built 
up a fine practice. Dr. Watson was married in September, 
1879, to Lottie, daughter of Orin Mansfield, of Nunda, 111. They 
have one son — Hugh. In his political views Dr. Watson is a Be- 


Dr. D. S. McGonigle was the first settled physician in this town. 
He came in 1845, and remained only a year or two. Dr. Allen C. 
Bingham resided and practiced here from 1857 to 1865, leading a 
successful professional career. In 1868 and 1869 Dr. D. C. Gil- 
bert was located here. Dr. Woodworth came in 1870, and re- 
mained about a year. From 1874 to 1881 Dr. A. S. Munson was 



in practice here. He sold oat to Dr. G. Ballenger, who is the 
present medical practitioner. 


Dr. T. W. Stull practiced at Marengo several years, and died in 
that place May 8, 1879. The Maringo Republican said of him : 

" We are pained, this week, to record the death of Dr. Theodore 
W. Stull. * * * The cause of his death was consumption. 
His age was forty-six years. He leaves a wife and three little girls 
to mourn the loss of a faithful, devoted husband and father. 
Though comparatively a young man, he was one of the old citizens 
of our town, has always been identified with our interests, and held 
a warm place in the hearts of all who knew him. In all the walks 
of lite — as a citizen, soldier, physician and Christian man — he was 
exemplary and influential." 

John W. Green, M. D., is a native of Greenfield, Huron Co., 
Ohio, born June 23, 1822, the fourth son and youngest of eight 
children of John and Mary (Ackley) Green. His father was a 
Methodist minister, and died in Huron County at the age of forty- 
six years. His mother died in Cleveland, Ohio, aged seventy-five 
years. Their family all lived till maturity; but one daughter and 
a son are now living. John W. Green spent his early days on a farm 
but obtained a good education by attending school during the winter 
months. When twenty-two years of age he began the study of medi- 
cine with Prof. Daniel Meeker, of La Porte, Ind., and remained with 
him three years. He attended four terms at the Indiana Medical 
College, La Porte, Ind. (now located at Indianapolis), and gradua- 
ted in the spring of 1848. One year previous to his graduation 
(in 1847) he located in Pleasant Grove, which name has since 
been changed to Marengo, 111., where he has built up a good prac- 
tice. He is one of the oldest physicians in the county, and has 
gained a reputation second to none. He was married March 
7, 1849, to Louisa Babcock, eldest daughter of Enoch Babcock. 
In April, 1863, he was commissioned Surgeon of the Ninety- 
fifth Illinois Infantry and mastered in May 6, 1863. He served 
two years and four months, and the greater part of the time had 
charge of the brigade. In February, 1865, he was detailed to take 
charge of the Third Division Field Hospital, Sixteenth Army 
Corps. Dr. Green is a member of the Fox River Medical Asso- 
ciation and the Masonic fraternity. He has three daughters. 
Mary married W. B. Waters, commission merchant of Chicago. 

., 4*- - 


Adell married Robert E. Strahorn, Vice-President and General 
Manager of Idaho and Oregon Land Improvement Co. Hattie is 
a student in "Woman's Medical College, Chicago. 

S. C. Wernham, M. D., is the only physician of Riley Town- 
ship. He was born in New York City, in 1846, a son of James 
and Margaret (McKenzie) Wernham, his father a native of Eng- 
land and his mother of New York City, of Scotch descent. James 
Wernham was eight years old when he came to the United States. 
He lived in New York till 1854, and then came to Illinois and 
bought 200 acres of land in Riley Township, McHenry County. 
In July, 1856, his family came to the county but remained only a 
year. They returned to New York, but two years later came again 
to McHenry County. The father died in Marengo in 1876 and 
the mother in 1878- S. C. Wernham was educated in the schools 
of New York City and Marengo. In 1870 he began the study of 
medicine with Dr. J. W. Green, of Marengo, and afterward at- 
tended Rush Medical College, graduating in the spring of 1874. 
He located in Marengo where he had a successful practice ten 
years. In connection with his profession he has engaged exten- 
sively in agricultural pursuits. He owns a fine farm of 260 acres, 
all well improved. He was married in June, 1872, to Emma 
Titus, daughter of W. J. Titus. They have had four children — 
James M., Spencer C, George F. and Mattie E. The eldest is 
deceased. Politically Dr. Wernham is a Republican. He is a 
member of Marengo Lodge, No. 138, F. & A. M. Mrs. Wernham 
is a member of the Presbyterian church. 

Edward L. Sheldon, M. D., was born in Dorr Township, 
McHenry Co., 111., Feb. 22, 1846, a son of Allen Sheldon, a native 
of Steuben County, N. Y., who settled in Dorr Township in 1840. 
He was reared on his father's farm, attending the public schools in 
his boyhood, and subsequently Todd's Seminary in Woodstock, and 
Wheaton College. In 1871 he attended the Eclectic Medical In- 
stitute at Cincinnati, Ohio, and Jan. 28, 1873, graduated from 
Bennett Medical College, Chicago, 111. He located at Union, Feb. 
10, 1873, and has now a good practice. He is a hard student, loves 
his profession and has been a successful practitioner. Dr. Sheldon 
was married April 9, 1873, to Emma E. Clark, daughter of Deacon 
A. H. Clark, who settled in Marengo in 1854. They have three 
children — Ernest A., Mary B. and Anna E. 

Frederick L. Nutt, M. D., was born in Tioga County, N. Y., in 
1852, a son of Morris and Mary E. Nutt, his father of Scotch and 


— ■ ^ kU 


his mother of French descent. In 1855 his parents moved to Illi- 
nois, and settled in Winnebago County, where he was reared. 
His education was obtained in the Rockford schools. After leav- 
ing school he taught three years. In 1874 he began the study of 
medicine with Dr. D. E. Foote, of JBelvidere, and was with him four 
summers. His first course of lectures were at the Chicago Medical 
College, in the fall of 1875. He took his second course at the 
same college in the winter of 1877-'78, and graduated March 5, 
1878. The same month he located in Marengo, and became asso- 
ciated with Dr. J. W. Green, and has been successful in his prac- 
tice. He was married December, 1878, to Jeannette M., daughter 
of William and Jeannette (Robertson) Shepherd, of Rockford, 111. 
Dr. Nutt is a member of Marengo Lodge, No. 138, F. & A. M.; 
Lansing Chapter, No. 73, R. A.M., and the A. O. U. W. Politi- 
cally he is a Republican. 

C. C. Miller, M. D., was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., 
June 10, 1831, a son of Dr. Johnson and Phoebe (Roadman) 
Miller, his father a native of New Jersey, and his mother of 
Pennsylvania. His early life was spent in school. He graduated 
from Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., in 1853, and soon after 
commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Sheridan, of Johns- 
ton, Pa. He graduated from the medical department of the 
Michigan University, Ann Arbor, in 1856, and the same year 
located in Marengo, where he practiced a year. He was obliged 
to abandon his practice on account of his health, and taught 
school till the spring of 1878. He had charge of the public 
schools of Marengo six years. Since leaving the school-room he 
has given his attention to bee culture. He has 300 colonies 
and is the most extensive apiarist in the county. He has served 
as President of the Northwestern and Secretary of the National 
Beekeepers' Association. Dr. Miller was married in 1857 to Mrs. 
Helen M. White, a native of Massachusetts, a daughter of Clin- 
ton and Nancy Cannon. To them were born two children — Chas. 
C. and Katie. The latter died in infancy. Mrs. Miller died in 
March, 1880. November, 1881, Dr. Miller married Sidney, 
daughter of John and Margaret Wilson. He and his wife are 
members of the Presbyterian church. 


Dr. G. Hungerford was the first physician of this township. He 
came from New York State in 1853, and practiced in the country 



about three and one-half years, when he moved to Union Village, 
where he practiced twenty-two years, and then moved to Tennessee, 
where he is engaged in the land business. Dr. A. McWright came 
in 1855. Dr. Suitor came in the spring of '56, andjremained but 
one year. Dr. Snow came to the township in 1858. Dr. Elvin 
Briggs came in 1840, and remained in practice till his death, in 

1881. Dr. E. L. Sheldon came to Union in 1875, and still re- 
mains in practice, being the only physician of the place. In 1883 
came Dr. Griffith, but remained only a short time. 


Dr. Ainsworth was the first physician to settle in Huntley. He 
came in 1852, and a few years afterward died of cholera while at- 
tending a stranger, who came to the place with that disease. 
Following him came Dr. John Garrison, who, with a partner by 
the name of Trough, practiced only a short time, when Garrison 
died, it being in the fall of 1857, and in 1858 Dr. Trough died. 
While Garrison & Trough were in practice a Dr. Cale located in 
Huntley, but remained only a short time. Next came Dr. Perry, 
who practiced till his death, which occurred in 1872. During 
Perry's practice Dr. Rodman came, and moved to Darien in 
1857. Dr. R. Turner came about the year 1860, and practiced till 

1882, when he died. Dr. A. Griffith came in 1871, and practiced 
till 1883, when he moved to Marengo, where he is now in practice. 
Dr. Chas. E. Cook came to Huntley in 1880, and is the only 
practicing physician in the place at present. Dr. Cook was born 
in Seneca Township, McHenry Co., 111., Jan. 27, 1853. Received 
his education in Jennings Seminary, Aurora, 111. Graduated in 
1880 at the Chicago Medical College, and came to Huntley the 
same spring. 


Dr. Erwin was the first physician of the place. He came in 
1842 and remained till 1857, when he moved to Chicago where he 
is still practicing. Next came Dr. Smith, who died here while en- 
gaged in his practice. Dr. Beers practiced here prior to going to 
McHenry, where he died. Dr. Ballou was the next. He is at 
present located in Nunda, where he is doing a big business. 
Among the list of Crystal Lake doctors we find the name of Dr. 
Lowell, who in his time had many friends and a good practice. 
Dr. Graves died here after a few years' practice. Dr. Hayes, who 

I V 


practiced here for a short time, is now a resident of Iowa. Dr. 
Hall is now in Chicago; he practiced here comparatively a short 
time. Dr. Crandall went from here to the army, and never re- 
turned. Dr. Lowell is the present physician. 

L. D. Lowell, M. D., is a native of Montgomery County, N. 
Y., born July 19, 1836, a son of A.. B. and Anna M. (Seebor) Low- 
ell. His paternal ancestors were the founders of Lowell, Mass. 
His maternal grandfather, William Seebor, was a native of New 
York, and died in 1847. His great-grandfather and four brothers 
were killed in the battle of Riskna, and two others were wounded. 
In 1845 his parents moved to Walworth County, Wis., where 
they still reside. He remained on the farm till twenty-one years 
of age. He received a good education and taught school one year. 
In 1858 he began the study of medicine with Dr. Wilson, oi 
Sharon, Wis. He afterward attended Rush Medical College, Chi- 
cago, from which he graduated in the spring of 1864. He located 
in Crystal Lake, where he has built up a large practice, and is now 
one of the best known and oldest physicians of the county. He 
was married July 2, 1862, to Sarah E., daughter of Thomas and 
Hannah Miller, natives of Kinderhook, N. Y. They have five 
children— Edith L., wife of H. C. Smith, of New York City, 
Lorenzo D., Edward T., Ferdinand E. and George B. Politically 
Dr. Lowell is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the 
Congregational church. 


Dr. Miller was the first physician of this village. He came in 
1848 and remained till 1856. Next came Dr. Johnson, who prac- 
ticed here only a short time, when he moved to Harvard, where he 
died a few years afterward. About the year 1858 came Dr. Wade, 
who remained till about 1863, when he moved to Woodstock, 
where he practiced two years and moved to Harvard, where he is 
still located. Dr. Devine came in 1862 and remained five years, 
when he moved to Ohio and afterward to California. From 1867 to 
]875 the village was without a doctor. In 1875 Dr. Chase came, 
and has since continued in practice with the exception of one year. 
During this year of Dr. Chase's absence Dr. McClure practiced in 
the place. 


Samuel Clark, M. D., the oldest practitioner of the northern 



part of the county, was born near the city of Bath, Somersetshire, 
England, April 26, 1818, a son of Charles and Elizabeth (Porter) 
Clark, his mother a relative of Admiral Porter, of Revolutionary 
lame. His father was a farmer. Satnnel was the eldest son and 
third child of a family of three sons and four daughters. He be- 
gan reading medicine when fourteen years of age with Rev. P. 
Simpson, an Episcopal clergyman, and also a physician. When 
seventeen years of age he came with his parents to America and 
lived in Albany, N. Y., about ten months, then went to Brantford, 
Canada West, where he continued his medical studies and was 
married to Elizabeth Clark, a native of England, and a daughter 
of John and Hannah (Robbins) Clark. In 1845 Dr. Clark came 
"West and settled on a farm near Poplar Grove, Boone Co., 111. 
Built the first house and store that started the village there, where 
he remained some fifteen years then removed to Beaverton, Boone 
Co., 111., where he bought property and laid out a town, and built 
a grist-mill, house and store, but failing to get a railroad through 
it, he left it in 1861, and moved to McHenry County, and bought 
a farm near Lawrence, which is now one of the finest places in the 
county. In 1869 he went to New York, and in 1870 graduated 
from the New York Eclectic Medical College. He then returned 
to Lawrence and practiced about eight years when he went to San 
Jose, Cal., and two years later to Santa Cruz, where he remained 
three years, and while there had a large practice and helped to es- 
tablish the Eclectic Medical Society of the State of California; then 
returned to Lawrence, 111., and in May, 1883, opened the only store 
in the place, where he has a complete stock of goods, including 
drugs and medicines. In addition to a large medical practice and 
the oversight of his store, he superintends his farm, which is well 
stocked with Jersey and short-horned cattle, Poland China hogs, 
Lincolnshire sheep and Plymouth Rock poultry. " Dr. Clark is a 
Free-Thinker, with knowledge of the immortality of the soul and 
one Gk>d,the Father of all men, and a worker for the liberty, equality 
and fraternity of man." He is a member of the National Eclectic 
Medical Association; Eclectic Medical Society of the State of Illi- 
nois, and a Fellow of the Eclectic Medical Society of the State of 
California. He is an advocate of the free, liberal and progressive 
Eclectic practice of medicine and the same in religion and politics. 






The Cause of Education in MoHenry County. — The Pioneer 
Schools. — Growth and Development of the Present School 
System. — The Present Condition of the Schools of the 
CouNrY. — Statistics . 

The Local Press. — The First Paper, the " Illinois Republi- 
can," established in 1846. — The Woodstock "Democrat." — 
Woodstock "Argus." — The "Sentinel." — The "New Era." 
— The " Mc Henry County Democrat." — Marengo Papers. 
— The Marengo "Republican." — The Harvard " Indepen. 


— Nunda " Herald." — Nunda " Advocate." 

The pe>ple of McEenry County, have always looked vigilantly 
after educational interests. Even in pioneer times, when every- 
body was pior and struggling against adverse conditions to make 
and pay for a home, they sought to give their children what op- 
portunities they could for school training. A number of school- 
houses were erected in the county prior to 1840, and at least two 
terms of school are known to have been taught in the county in 
the summer of 1838, only a year after the formal organization of 
the county. With such commendable enterprise thus early 
evinced, it would have been strange if the cause of education had 
not prospered here. 

According to the reliable testimony of an old teacher, the first 
school in the county was taught in the summer of 1838, in what is 
now the town of Coral. Miss Caroline Cobb, afterward Mrs. 
Flanders, was the teacher. Helen Diggins, in the northern part 
of the county, also taught a short term during the same summer. 
The first males who taught in the county were Wm. M. Jackson 
and 0. P. Rogers; the former taught in Coral, and the latter in 
Marengo Village in the winter of 1838-'9. We have no means of 
ascertaining where and when the first school-house was built. The 


\ Q _•*- 


first of which there is official mention was built on section 1, 
township 45, range 9 (Dunham), prior to June, 1839. Doubt- 
less others were built at or near the same time. The reader 
will find in the chapters devoted to the several towns an account 
of the early schools in each. 

The first official mention of the subject of public schools appears 
upon the county records under the date of June, 1841. Carlisle 
Hastings was then appointed "School Land Commissioner," and 
boards of school trustees were appointed for each township in the 
county. These boards and the townships, as they are now named, 
are given below: 

Riley: A. E. Smith, R. Bates and Samuel Johnson. 

Marengo: Marcu s G. White, John Poyer, Daniel Steward. 

Dunham: Jonathan Fellows, J. N. Jerome, Thomas Finey. 

Chemung: Nathaniel Smith, "William Hart, Rodolphus Hutchin- 

Coral: A. F. Randall, Selah Markham, Ephraim N. Frink. 

Seneca: "Wm. M. Jackson, Leander H. Bishop, ¥m. "Wattling. 

Hartland: George Stratton, Apollos Hastings, Geo. H. Gulfing. 

Alden: Thaddeus B. "Wakeman, Ransom Parrish, Orry Barrett. 

Grafton: PrescDtt Whittemore, John B. Oakley, Lewis Hol- 

Door: Allen Dufield, Solomon Keyes, Michael Best. 

Greenwood: Andrew J. Hay ward, Amos Scofield, M. B. 

Hebron: Josiah EL Giddings, Jacob Gilbert, Bela H. Tryon. 

Algonquin: Allen Baldwin, Hosea B. Throop, E. J. Smith. 

Nunda: Josiah Walkup, Charles Patterson, "Wm. Huffman. 

McHenry: Amory Thomas, Gideon Colby, Benjamin Tuttle. 

Richmond: Wm. A. McConnell, J. W. "White, Samuel Merrick. 

Township 43, range 9 (now part of Algonquin): Thomas R. 
Chunn, "Wm. D. Carey, Joseph Clink. 

Township 44, range 9 (part of Nunda): Isaac Griswold, John H. 
Mudget, R. T. Codding. 

Township 45, range 9 (part of McHenry): Alden Harvey, 
Alfred Stone, Chauncy Beckwith. 

Township 46, range 9 (Burton Township): S. S. Stilson, Jonathan 
Kimball, Alfred Stephens. 

From that time onward, school-houses were built and schools 
supported wherever the population was sufficiently dense to bear 
the expenditure. As the county became more thickly populated, 



new districts were formed, so that in a very few years every settler 
was within a short distance from a school-house. 

The greatest difficulty in the way of the successful working of 
the schools was found to be the lack of good teachers. All the 
diligence of the school officers was not sufficient to remedy this 
defect — there were not enough competent teachers whose services 
could be had. Many, it is true, were well qualified for the voca- 
tion, and labored earnestly, performing their duty nobly; others, 
however, were employed in the absence of better materia], who 
were sadly deficient both in education and aptitude. 

The teachers, too, labored under disadvantages. There was 
nothing like uniformity of text-books, and systematic classification 
was impossible. Only the elementary branches were taught, and 
these often very imperfectly. 

An insight into the state of the public schools thirty years ago 
is obtained from the record of the Board of Supervisors. Tuesday, 
Sept. 11, 1855, Mr. Jewett, of the committee on education, pre- 
sented resolutions declaring, 

" 1st. That there is a sad deficiency of properly and legally 
qualified teachers in and for your said county. 

"2d. That there is a lack of interest and zeal on the part of 
said teachers to discharge those weighty responsibilities incumbent 
upon them in a becoming manner. 

" 3d. That there is a lamentable lack of uniformity in the plan 
of instruction which is so desirable in every county. ' 

" 4th. That there have been considerable sums of money 
expended for the purpose of maintaining and supporting teachers' 
institutes, the object of said institutes being to remedy the difficul- 
ties above named. 

" 5th. That these institutes have come far short of the object 
for which they were established," etc. 

To improve the existing state of the public schools, Mr. Jewett 
proposed the establishment, at the county seat, of an institute to 
be called the McHenry County Normal School ; but his suggestion 
was never acted upon. 

The early settlers were men who were fully awake to the impor- 
tance of fostering education. Not only did they give vigilant 
attention to the work of maintaining district schools, but they also 
put private schools in operation which were productive of great 
good. The chief institutes of this character were located at Law- 


rence, Marengo and Crystal Lake, though other private schools 
were maintained in different parts of the county. 

Lawrence Academy, situated in the northwestern part of the 
county, was one of the earliest and most flourishing schools in this 
section. It was presided over by able instructors, and many after- 
ward prominent men were among its students. Its prosperity 
gradually waned, and eventually it ceased to exist, its place being 
supplied in a great measure by the improved privileges of the 
common schools. 

Marengo Collegiate Institute was the name of an academy, 
started under very promising auspices at Marengo in 1857. A 
building five stories high, designed to accommodate 150 students 
with rooms, was erected, and the school started with 115 pupils 
enrolled during the first year. Among the instructors were Rev. 
Geo. T. Goodhue, Rev. R. H. Richardson, and C. C. Miller, A. M. 

A flourishing seminary was maintained for some years at Crystal 
Lake Village under the name of Nunda College. The above men- 
tioned were among the most prominent private schools ever estab- 
lished in the county. They were instrumental, in a great degree, 
in the improvement of the common schools, inasmuch as they sent 
forth many well-qualified teachers to labor in them. 

Rapid progress in educational work has constantly been made 
during the last quarter of a century. To-day the people of Illinois 
justly pride themselves upon the excellence of their schools. Con- 
stant and well-directed efforts have wrought their result, and now 
the people of McHenry County may justly be proud of their public 
schools. It is doubtful if there can be found anywhere in the 
country a county no older than this which has better school privi- 
leges. While the schools are not yet perfect, yet in excellence of 
school buildings, convenience of arrangement, competent super- 
vision and thorough instruction, the county will compare favorably 
with any of like age and population. The county superintendents, 
the teachers, the tax-payers and the pupils are all interested in 
their work, and the results are everywhere apparent. The city, 
village and country schools are all well equipped and performing 
good work. The county institutes are well attended and play an 
important part in keeping alive the interest in education. 

The county institute was formed in 1856, and has, perhaps, aided 
more than any other agency in the improvement of the schools. 

Many of the school districts have valuable school libraries, the 
importance of which will be attested by every teacher. 




In 1860 the number of schools in the county was 142; number 
of school-houses, 139; number of teachers, 218; number of male 
scholars, 4,036; number of female scholars, 3,778. 

In 1870 the number of pupils in the county was 11,890, of whom 
about 7,000 were enrolled. In 1875 the number of school-houses 
was 150. In 1881 there are but 138 school-houses in the county, 
though there are 175 needed to supply all the districts. In 1882 
and 1883, 276 teachers were employed in the county, and only 270 
employed during the years 1883 and 1884. Present number of 
children of school age in the county, 8,077. Total amount of 
salary paid teachers annually is $41,105.01. Present value of 
school property in the county, $186,285. 


After the public schools, the most potent factor in modern 
civilization is the newspaper press. The pulpit and the bar each 
have their allotted spheres in which to protect and benefit society, 
but their influence is by no means commensurate with that of the 
press. The talented lawyer or the learned divine may be able to 
impress some important truth on the minds of the few hundreds 
composing his audience; the newspaper every day or every week 
speaks to thousands, and its words are more likely to leave a last- 
ing impression than those of the orator. Then, too, the newspaper 
is the receptacle of all the best thoughts that are uttered at the 
bar, in the pnlpit or on the platform; and but for its agency, dis- 
courses of wisdom and eloquence would never reach but a limited 
portion of the public to which they are addressed. The best news- 
papers, aside from performing their important mission of keeping 
the people informed of the contemporary history of the country, 
also reflect the popular sentiment upon religious, social and 
economical questions. They are also, in some degree, the leaders 
and molders of public opinion. The wants of the public are often 
foreseen, and important reforms brought about through the 
agency of the newspapers. The better class of papers — and with 
this class only we have to deal — are the friends of religion, educa- 
tion, temperance and morality. They are the defenders, and often 
the safeguards, of our liberties, exposing corruption in office, and 
defeating the wiles of scheming politicians. In county, state and 
nation, the ever vigilant, free and independent press is the friend 
of good government and the guardian of the best interests of the 


In McHenry County the first newspaper was started at a time 
when the weekly press of the country did not hold the important 
and influential position which it has to-day. When the first news- 
paper made its appearance here in 1846. country weeklies were 
generally but feeble imitators of their larger city contemporaries. 
Since that day the province of the local newspaper has been firmly 
established, and it has been found that it is entirely distinct from 
the field covered by the general newspaper of the metropolis. To 
give home news, to protect home interests, to foster home indus- 
tries and to encourage needed reforms in the community — these 
are to-day the well understood functions of the local newspaper. 
Since this fact came to be generally understood, the once despised 
" country weekly " has become a power in the land, having an 
influence upon civilization such as it never could have secured 
under the old system of management. The record of events at 
home is prized by the former citizen of the county now HviDg in 
a distant State, and eagerly he scans the pages of the familiar 
sheet to glean intelligence of his old friends, neighbors and asso 
ciates, while to the people living within the territory from which 
the news is gathered, the contents of the local journal are scarcely 
less important. Preserved volumes of the paper in coming years 
will be examined with interest by the antiquarian and the statis- 
tician, who will find in them an authentic record of every impor- 
tant event in the history of his city and county. Every true 
citizen of a city, town or village in which a good newspaper is 
published, takes pride in giving his support, and justly con- 
siders the local press to be among the most important institu- 
tions of his neighborhood. 

The newspapers of McHenry County have kept pace in the 
march of improvement with the growth of population and the 
development of material resources, and are to-day worthy expo- 
nents of the best interests of the county. 


The first paper ever published in the county was issued at 
"Woodstock in 1846. Its editor and publisher was Josiah Dwight, 
a graceful and ready writer. The paper bore the name of the 
Illinois Republican. After several suspensions and changes of 
name, through all of which Mr. Dwight was chiefly interested in 
its management, it was finally succeeded in 1856 by the new 
Republican organ, the Woodstock Sentinel. In 1854 Mr. 

tJT 1 



Dwight's paper was called the Republican 1'ree Press. It is 
believed that it had another name at one time, which is now for- 
gotten. As no copies ot' the earliest county papers are now to be 
found, many interesting facts in their history are irretrievably 

The Woodstock Democrat -was established in 1849 and published 
until 1856 in the interest of the Democratic party, which then 
held sway in McHenry County. It was a well-conducted paper, 
and was moderately well patronized. It was edited and published 
by F. D. Austin, an accomplished and able writer. As an editor 
he has had few superiors in the county. 

The Woodstock Argus, a Democratic sheet, was started in the 
spring of 1856 as the rival of the Woodstock Democrat. Its 
editors and proprietors were M. L. Joslyn and E. W. Smith. The 
Democrat died soon after the Argus took the field, and its stock 
was bought by the latter. Then the Free Press, the only Repub- 
lican paper in the county, fell into the rapacious claws of the 
Argus, and disappeared from mortal sight orever. The Argus 
did not live long to rejoice in its victory. The Sentinel came and 
conquered, and in July, 1857, the Argus ceased to be. Some 
time before this event Smith and Joslyn had retired from the 
management, leaving a Mr. Edson in charge. 

After the Argus became extinct Mr. Austin revived the Wood- 
stock Democrat and published it from August, 1858, to July, 1859. 
It had just begun a libel suit against the Sentinel, of which noth- 
ing ever came. The death of the Democrat left but one paper in 
the county. 

A few months later the Democrat was revived and for a while 
longer led a precarious existence. James L. Martin, the last owner, 
became its editor in October, 1860. The paper seems to have died 
in 1862 never to come to life again. 

The Woodstock Sentinel, the oldest paper published in the 
county, has had an exceptionally prosperous career. The first 
number was issued July 17,1856, as the organ in McHenry County 
of the newly born Republican party. G. L. Webb and T. F. John- 
son were the editors. The paper was founded by an association. 
This initial issue contains no local news and only four columns of 
advertisements. The paper has the name of John C. Fremont at 
the head of its editorial page and its tone is intensely partisan. 
Oct. 9, 1856, Webb .having disposed of his interest in the paper, 
Thomas F. Johnson became the proprietor. Josiah Dwight took 


editorial charge and conducted his department with vigor. In 
April, 1857, the Sentinel passed into the hands of J. W. Franks 
& Son, Josiah Dwight continuing as editor. In November, 1858, 
Abraham E. and William E. Smith became the editors and pro- 
prietors. At that time the paper boasted a circulation of 1,200 
copies. With the advent of the Messrs. Smith local news began 
to be a feature of the paper. The Sentinel progressed and pros- 
pered under the joint management of the Smith brothers until the 
fall of 1862 when Win. E. Smith went into the army, leaving his 
brother in charge of the paper. 

Dec. 1, 1862, the Mo Henry County Union was sold to the Sen- 
tinel. It had been running for a year, and at its decease was 
owned by J. H. Hodder. 

With the first number in January, 1866, A. E. Smith was suc- 
ceeded by Frank M. Sapp and George B. Richardson, editors and 
proprietors. Hitherto the Sentinel had been a seven-column folio. 
In February, 1866, it was enlarged to eight columns, and in June, 
1867, the size was increased to nine columns. Sapp & Richardson 
made a good paper and conducted it in an enterprising manner. 
Their advertising patronage was large and their circulation reached 
nearly 1,700 copies. They devoted the paper mainly to county 
news and to the discussion of local affairs. Oct. 1, 1869, Sapp & 
Richardson sold out to William E. Smith, a former editor. 

April 1, 1872, G. S. Southworth purchased the Sentinel. In Oc- 
tober following he enlarged it to a seven-column quarto with 
"patent insides." In May, 1873, the paper was changed to its 
present form, a six-column quarto, and for sometime was all printed 
at home. Jay Yan Slyke was an associate editor upon the Senti- 
nel for about five years, severing his connection with the paper in 

June 5, 1879, E. T. Glennon, who for several years had been 
foreman in the Sentinel office, purchased a half interest in the 
paper, which has since been published by Southworth and Glen- 
non. The prosperity of the paper under its present management 
has been steady and constant. When Mr. Southworth took charge 
in 1872, the Sentinel had about 900 subscribers, and there were 
but three papers published in the county. In August, 1884, the 
number of bona fide subscribers was 1,550, while the number of 
papers published in the county was eight. No other evidence is 
necessary to prove that the paper is well managed. It has never 
swerved from its fidelity to the Republican party. 
c j ' — - - - - - ' ■» t 



The Woodstock Citizen made its appearance in 1873, bat did not 
live through the year. 

In October, 1873, the Franklin Printing and Publishing Com- 
pany of Chicago started a Grange paper at Woodstock bearing the 
name the Anti- Monopolist. Nov. 6, 1873, the Sentinel published 
its obituary. 

On Thanksgiving day of the same year, the New Era, another 
Grange organ, first appeared under the management cf Ringland 
& Price. Rev. Mr. Price, of Woodstock, was the chief originator 
of the enterprise, but he soon left the concern, and in February 
following W. D. Ringland (who had been business manager of the 
Anti-Monopolist) became the sole proprietor. The New Era had 
a checkered career, but it was always a live, enterprising paper. 
Started as the organ of the Grange movement, it afterward em- 
braced the Greenback doctrine, and near the close of its career be- 
came tinctured with Republican ideas. Mr. Ringland published 
the paper at Woodstock and Nunda until 1876 when it suspended 
for a time. In the same year it reappeared at Woodstock. In 
October, 1878, the establishment was moved to Elgin, where the 
paper was published for a time, then suspended. Shortly afterward 
Mr. Ringland resumed its publication at Woodstock. In March, 
1880, the office was destroyed by fire, involviug a heavy loss to its 
owner. His friends were numerous, however, and by private sub- 
scriptions soon raised enough money to re-establish the office. The 
publication was discontinued in June, 1880, and the subscription 
list sold to Southworth & Glennon, of the Sentinel. The New Era 
at one time attained a circulation of 1,700 copies. During the 
campaign of 1880 a daily edition was issued for four months. 

The McHenry County Democrat was begun in April, 1877, by 
A. R. Bradbury, who issued a few numbers, but failed to secure a 
living support for the paper. In October following the paper was 
really established. John A. and M. C. Dufield became the pro- 
prietors, and in their hands the paper grew steadily. M. C. 
Dufield retired Aug. 12, 1882, leaving John A. Dufield sole 
proprietor and editor. The Democrat is now on a paying basis, 
with a circulation of about 1,200. It is earnestly devoted to the 
interests of the party whose name it bears, to the dissemination of 
local news and the forwarding of home interests. Mr. Dufield, 
the editor, .is a practical printer, and familiar with all departments 
of newspaper work, having followed the printer's calling from 




boyhood. Charles A. Lemmers is local editor, and conducts his 
department with ability. 


About 1852 the Marengo Journal made, its appearance. It was 
published by Edward Burnside for five years, and was well con- 
ducted. It was not a financial success, however, and it suspended 
in 1857. Its successor was the Marengo Weekly Press, which 
likewise gave up the ghost after a few years' existence. 

The Marengo Republican was started in 1867- It was not 
printed at home at first, but at Belvidere. In May, 1868, it ap- 
peared as a seven-column folio in a new dress and in new type. 
D. C. Potter was then the editor. From 1868 to the present time 
the Republican has been conducted almost continuously by J. B. 
Babcock, its present editor and proprietor. The paper is Repub- 
lican in politics, though the general and local news are not 
neglected, even in the most exciting campaigns. At a subscrip- 
tion price of $1.50 per annum it has a circulation of over 800 
copies. The paper is liberally patronized by home advertising, 
and job printing is quite a paying business in this office. But few 
county papers are more ably edited. 


The Harvard Independent was started in the spring of 1865 by 
Thomas G. Newman, and edited by H. V. Reed as an indepen- 
dent newspaper till the spring of 1866, when H. V. Reed became 
the owner, and soon after took a Mr. Tuttle in as partner. They 
ran it till 1868, and sold out to Horniday & Blake. In the 
following September Blake withdrew from the firm by selling his 
interests to Smith Hooker, who, after a few months, sold to A. 
McLaughlin, and it was run for a few months under the firm name 
McLaughlin & Horniday, when McLaughlin became sole proprie- 
tor and ran it till 1872, when he took in A. Leland as an equal 
partner. This firm ran the paper till 1877, when Gardner & 
Knox bought it, and after owning it a short time, sold to George 
"White, who, after running it about one year sold it to G. W. 
Hanna & Son, who also ran it about one year, when James White 
(father of George White, a former owner) bought the paper, and 
was afterward sold out at sheriff's sale, when the property was 
bought by the present proprietor, N. B. Burtch, who, since 
January, 1881, has been successfully managing the paper. When 



Mr. Burtch became the owner of this paper it was practically dead, 
and through his exertions and ability as an editor, he has not only 
resurrected and brought it back to life, but has made it one of the 
leading papers in McHenry County. Its circulation is second to 
none in the county, and it is running on a good paying basis. 

Nathaniel B. Burtch, editor of the Harvard Independent, was 
born in Leyden, Lewis Co., N. Y., April 6, 1842. In the spring 
of 1844 his parents moved to Fonda, the couuty seat of Mont- 
gomery County. "When he was but ten years of age his father 
died, and at that early age he began learning the printer's trade 
with T. K. Horton, of Fultonville, Montgomery County, and re- 
mained with him till October, 1857. He then, with an older 
brother, John H, who was also a printer, came West, arriving in 
Chicago the day the Crystal Palace of New York burned. He 
worked in the job-room of the Evening Journal two months, and 
then went, with his brother, to Joliet, 111. Failing to get work at 
their trade, his brother took charge of a restaurant, and he went to 
work on the farm of William Hadsell, two miles east of Joliet, 
till April, 1858. From April till August, 1858, he was news agent 
on the Chicago & Alton Railroad, running from Bloomington to 
Chicago, headquarters at Bloomington. He then went to Cairo, 
111., and, with his brother John, took charge of the Cairo Times 
and Delta, a semi-weekly paper, L. G. Faxon, editor, and Burtch 
Brothers, publishers. In 1858 the levee broke through, and for a 
time they worked in water to their knees, and Nathaniel contracted 
the ague. He sold his interest in the paper and returned to Chi- 
cago, and worked on the Journal a month. He then determined 
to go to Pike's Peak, and went East to see his mother before start- 
ing. She persuaded him to remain in New York, and he worked 
on the Cableskill Jeffersonian till the] following spring, when he 
went to New York City, and worked on the morning and evening 
Express till the spring of 1861. He assisted in setting up the 
dispatch that "Fort Sumter was fired on," and then, with ten other 
printers, went to the Journal of Commerce office, on Wall Street, 
where they were joined by thirteen other printers. From there 
they went the rounds of the printing offices, and by 3 p. m. 147 
printers marched to the City Assembly rooms, enrolled their names 
as recruits, and joined the old Scott Life Guards. The next day 
they were sworn into the service, and three days later embarked 
on the steamer Alabama for Baltimore, and thence to Fortress 
Monroe, Va. The next week they participated in the battle of Big 



Bethel, the first battle of the war. Subsequently participated in 
the battles of Yorktowu and Richmond, and from there went to 
Fort McHenry, Baltimore, where Mr. Burtch had charge of the 
city patrol five months. He was then in several skirmishes and 
the battles of South Mountain and Antietam; at the latter he was 
shot through the thigh with two balls and six buckshot, and was 
left on the field for dead. He lay on the battle-field nine days, and 
was then taken to the hospital at Washington. A week before the 
battle of Chancellorsville he reported for duty, on crutches, and 
was assigned to a position on the signal corps, at the Lacy House, 
before Fredericksburg. After the battle of Chancellorsville the 
regiment was mustered out and returned to New York City, where 
they received a grand reception. Mr. Burtch went to Pough- 
keepsie, and while at work on the Potighke&psian set up the first 
MSS. Josh Billings ever gave a daily paper. In September, 1863,, 
he returned to New York and enlisted in the secret service, but 
was discharged a month later at St. Louis, Mo., for disability, and 
went to Fond du Lac, Wis. The next January he began work on 
the Fond du Lac Democrat. He subsequently ran the Oconto, 
Wis., Lumberman three months, and then went to St. Paul, Minn., 
and worked on the Press two years. He then, with four others, 
went to Minneapolis and started the Chronicle; subsequently 
changed to Tribune. While in Minneapolis he was taken sick, 
and told by the doctors that he had consumption. He sold out 
his interest in the paper and went to New York City, and as soon 
as able began to work on the New York Express. A year later he 
returned to Wisconsin, and worked on the Watertown Republican 
till the next spring, when he went to Scranton, Pa., and, in partner- 
ship with his brother John, published the Scranton News thirteen 
months. He then worked another year on the New York City 
Express, and then returned to Wisconsin, and was foreman of the 
Whitewater Register seven years. He then bought a half-interest 
in the Richland Observer, at Richland Center, and a year later 
sold out and bought the office of the Harvard Independent, which 
he has made the best paper in the county. Mr. Burtch was mar- 
ried March 22, 1864, to Sarah B. Douglas, a native of St. Lawrence 
County, N. Y., and a daughter of Benjamin and Ruby (Bishop) 
Douglas, her father a cousin of Stephen A. Douglas. To them have 
been born three children— Nellie M., born at St. Paul, Minn., May 
16, 1866; Jennie E., in Jersey City, N. J., May 11, 1868, and 
Charles E., in Jersey City, Nov. 21, 1872. Mr. Burtch is a mem- 


ber of Harvard Lodge, No. 147, A. 0. U. W.; Harvard Legion, 
No. 24, A. O. U. W., and J. B. Manzer Post, No. 215, G. A. K. 
He is Recorder of the legion, and Adjutant of the post. He and 
his wife are members of the Congregational church. 


The McHenry Plaindealer has had a remarkably successful 
career, and is in all respects a well-conducted local newspaper. 
Though young in years it has attained a large circulation, and 
exercises a potent influence in the field of politics. The first 
number of the Plaindealer was issued Aug. 4, 1875, by J. Van 
Slyke, who still continues its editor and proprietor. Mr. Van 
Slyke is an able and ready writer, as every department of his 
paper bears witness. The journal now circulates about 1,600 
copies in McHenry and adjoining counties. It receives a generous 
share of advertising patronage, and turns out a large amount of 
job work. Mr. Van Slyke has recently improved the facilities of 
his office by the addition of a new press, and is now better pre- 
pared than ever before to give his patrons a good paper. The 
Plaindealer is a seven-column quarto, Republican in politics, and 
zealously devoted to home .interests. 

J. Van Slyke, editor of the McHenry Plaindealer, was born in 
Ogdensburg, N. Y., Aug. 21, 1837, a son of Jesse M. and Frances 
Van Slyke, his father a native of Germany, and his mother of Irish 
descent. His father died June 7, 1858, aged sixty-seven years. 
His mother is living in Antwerp, N. T., aged about eighty years. 
Our subject attended school till eleven years of age, and then went 
into a printing office and served an apprenticeship of three years. 
He worked a year and a half in the office after his term as ap- 
prentice was over, and then went to Sackett's Harbor and remained 
a year. When seventeen years of age he was employed as Captain's 
clerk on the steamer Black Hawk, and went to China, California, 
round Cape Horn, and thence home. Then went to Boston and was 
employed on the Daily Traveler as printer and reporter three years 
and a half, when he went to Watertown, N. Y., and from there, in 
1858, to Canton, N. Y., and was foreman in the Canton Plaindealer 
office till 1861, when he bought the paper and published it eight 
years. In 1869 he sold his paper and bought the Gloversville, N. Y ., 
Standard. A year later he came to Illinois and bought a half- 
interest in the Clinton Public, which he sold in 1870, and came to 
McHenry County, and for five years was associate editor and 


business manager of the Woodstock Sentinel. In 1875 he came 
to McHenry and established his office and began the publication of 
the Plaindealer, one of the best local papers in the State. Mr. 
Van Slyke enlisted in September, 1862, in Company K, Eleventh 
New York Cavalry, and was commissioned Captain of his company. 
He was married Nov. 27, 1858, to Rachel, daughter of William 
Mills, of New York. They have had four children — Fred C. (de- 
ceased), Ida, Jesse and Maud. Politically Mr. Yan Slyke is a 
Eepublican. He is a member of McHenry Lodge, No. 158, 
F. & A. M. 


The Eichmond Gazette was established May 1, 1876, by B. B. 
Begun, who had it in full charge only a few months when he took 
in George S. Utter, of Geneva, as an equal partner. They edited 
and published the paper till July, 1876, when Mr. Begun died. 
After this event the paper was managed by Mr. Utter till October, 
1879, when John E. Nethercut, of Rockford, purchased it, and has 
since been its editor. It started with a moderate circulation, but 
has grown to 700. It is Republican in sentiment, though it deals 
more in the general news of the community and State than in 
politics. It is an eight-column four-page paper, and is furnished 
to subscribers at $2.00 per year, with a reduction of 50 cents 
if paid in advance. Its columns are filled with paying advertise- 
ments, and a good job printing business is done by the editor in 
connection with the paper. Mr. Nethercut was born in New 
York City, March 29, 1854:. When young he learned the shoe- 
maker's trade with his father, and received a common-school edu- 
cation. When a boy he came with his father to Geneva, Wis., 
and was reared there. At the age of eighteen he entered the 
Herald office of that place to learn the trade. There he remained 
about one year, when he went to Milwaukee and remained two 
years working in a printing ^office. He spent a few months in 
Elkhorn, Wis., and then went to Rockford, 111., where he entered 
the office of the Golden Censer as "foreman, and remained about 
six years. 


The Nunda Herald is a sprightly little paper, full of local news 
and interesting matter, and is wholly printed at home. Its size 
is sixteen pages, the pages containing but three columns each, a 

_ 7 ____ =z=Z\ 



feature which might be advantageously copied by other country 
papers, as it enables the publisher, when the press of advertising 
or abundance of news matter demands it, to extend his columns 
indefinitely by the addition of extra pages. This can be done at 
much less expense than usually attends the issue of " extras" when 
the paper is a folio or a quarto. The Herald was established in 
July, 1880, by its present publisher, I. M. Mallory. It is neutral 
in politics and devoted to the interests of the people. The editor 
is Secretary of the Seventeenth Illinois Cavalry Reunion Organiza- 
tion, and publishes much matter that is of interest to those who 
served in the late war. The letters of absent comrades and others 
is made an attractive feature. The Herald also has a good corps 
of local correspondents. It has a good advertising patronage, and 
receives a large amount of job printing. 

The Weekly Advocate, published at Nunda, was established in 
November, 1883, by M. C. Dufield, the present publisher. It was 
designed to be neutral in politics, and so continued until June, 
1884, when it became a Prohibition organ, with Eev. George K. 
Hoover, of Woodstock, as editor. It is a seven-column folio; 
price, $1 per year. Its circulation is now over 700 copies, and 
the list of subscribers is still growing. Besides devoting much 
Bpace to temperance interests and local news, it has seven columns 
of advertisements. The paper has already attained a circulation of 
between 700 and 800 copies. It is published weekly, at the re- 
markably low price of 75 cents per year in advance. 




First Meeting, 1868. — Officers Elected. — The Reunion at Mo- 
Henry in 1869. — Account of Proceedings. — The Reunion of 
1875. — The Association Permanently Organized in 1876. — 
The Constitution. — Original Members. — Subsequent Reun- 
ions. — Reminiscences. — Officers and Members of the Society. 

June 20, 1868, there was an old settlers' meeting at Libertyville, 
Lake County, at which time the project of a joint Old Settlers' 
Association tor the counties of McHenry and Lake was discussed 
and the following committee appointed to take measures prepara- 
tory to such an organization: Justice Bangs, Charles H. Bartlett, 
Elisha Gridley, George Gage and Joel H. Johnson. Joel H. 
Johnson and George Gage, of McHenry County, were authorized to 
call meetings in McHenry County and to appoint the time for a 
unioD meeting. The committee decided that a reunion of old set- 
tlers of the two counties should be held at McHenry, on Wednes- 
day, Sept. 8, 1869. A committee of arrangements was appointed, 
viz.: George Gage, H. 1ST. Owen, A. H. Hanley, Wm. M. Jack- 
son, Wm. A. McConnell, J. H. Johnson and George Gillilan. Hon. 
"Wm. M. Jackson was appointed President of the association. The 
organization was informal and regular meetings were not made a 
feature until later. 

The first regular meeting of the association was held at the date 
appointed — Sept. 8, 1869. " It was," says the Sentinel of the fol- 
lowing week, " the largest assemblage of people that ever occurred 
in the county, entirely exceeding the most sanguine expectations 
of its originators, and astonishing all present by the brilliantly 
successful manner in which all the arrangements were conceived 
and carried out." 

The officers of the meeting were: "Wm. M. Jackson, President; 
H. N. Owen, Secretary; J. H. Johnson, Marshal, and George Gage, 
Orator. Four bands of music were in attendance. The meeting 
was called to order and a song, " Way out West," very effectively 




rendered. Prayer was offered by Eev. W. W. Stewart; the band 
rendered " Auld Lang Syne," and Hon. George Gage delivered an 
eloquent oration, treating of the history and the pioneer life of the 
counties of McHenry and Lake. 

At the conclusion of the oration, the audience partook of two 
barbecued oxen and other light refreshments. The following toasts 
were then offered: " The Judiciary of the State of Illinois." Re- 
sponded to by Hon. T. D. Murphy. "The Bar of the State of Il- 
linois." Eesponded to by Colonel L. S. Church. "The officers 
and soldiers of Lake and McHenry counties during the late war." 
Eesponded to by General Geo. C. Rogers, of Waukegan. 

Henry McLean, John E. Eagan and Colonel Edward Joslyn 
made brief speeches, and the exercises of the day concluded. This 
first old settlers meeting was voted a grand success by everybody 
who attended. 

Oct. 14, 1875, the old settlers of Lake and McHenry counties 
held a reunion at McHenry. The officers of the day were Wm. 
A. McConnell, President; Charles H. Bartlett, Nelson Landing 
and E. Gridley, Vice-Presidents for Lake County; E. G. A.yer, 
George Gage, N. Donnelly, Vice-Presidents for McHenry County. 
J. H. Johnson, Marshal. Hon. John Weutworth, "Long John," 
delivered the address; Eichard Bishop also gave entertaining rem- 
iniscences. Several bands of music were present. A roasted ox 
formed a feature of the entertainment. The crowd was large but 
rain" interfered with the complete success of the meeting. The ex- 
ercises concluded with a ball at the Eiverside House in the evening. 

The Old Settlers' Association was permanently organized and a 
constitution adopted May 10, 1876, at a meeting held at McHenry 
for that purpose. John G. Eagan, Esq., of Lake County, called 
the meeting to order and Hon. George Gage, of McHenry, was 
chosen Chairman. Chas. A. Partridge, of the Waukegan Gazette, 
and J. Van Slyke, of the McHenry Plaindealer, were chosen Assist- 
ant Secretaries. 

A committee was appointed for the purpose of drafting a con- 
stitution and by-laws, viz.: J. H. Johnson, J. Van Slyke and 
Mark Hickox, of McHenry County; Charles A. Partridge, J. G. 
Eagan and Albert Kapple, of Lake County, who reported the fol- 
lowing constitution, which was adopted: 

Article 1. — The name of this society shall be "The Old Settlers' 
Organization of McHenry and Lake counties," and its object shall 
be to keep alive the memory of olden times by annual reunions. 



Art. 2. — Any person of good moral character who has resided in 
the State twenty-five years or more, and is now a resident of either 
McHenry or Lake county, may become a member of this society 
by sending his or her name, address, place and date of birth, and 
date and place of settlement to the recording secretary, accom- 
panied by an initiation fee of 50 cents; except it is expressly under- 
stood that no fee shall be exacted from widows or maiden ladies. 

Art. 3. — The officers of this society shall consist of a president, 
one vice-president at large from each county, a corresponding 
secretary from each county, a recording secretary, a treasurer and 
an executive committee consisting of seven members, the presi- 
dent of the association being ex-officio chairman of the committee, 
and three members being from each county. 

Art. 4. — The several officers of the society shall perform such 
duties as usually pertain to their respective offices, but all matters 
relating to the society shall be under the control and management 
of the executive committee. 

Art. 5. — The officers of this society shall be elected by ballot at 
a meeting to be held in the village of McHenry, on the fourth 
Wednesday in January of each year. 

Art. 6. — New members may be admitted at any time by the 
recording secretary on compliance with the conditions in article two, 
provided that twenty-five years shall have elapsed since the writer's 
first residence in the State of Illinois. 

Art. 7. — The executive committee, through the local papers or 
otherwise, shall give notice of the time of the funeral of any of the 
deceased members; and all members, if possible, shall attend said 
funeral, wearing the society badge; and it shall be the duty of 
members of the society to notify the recording secretary of the 
death of any member as promptly as possible, giving such par- 
ticulars as may be deemed desirable as matters of record, and the 
secretary shall keep a record of all events of this nature that may 
come to his knowledge. 

Art. 8. — This constitution may be altered or amended at any 
meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present. 

Of those present at the above named meeting, the following 
were admitted as members of the society: O. W. Owen, Mrs. 
Harriet Owen, Eichard Compton, Mrs. Mary Compton, A. V. 
Smith, Mrs. E. A. Smith, Mark Hickox, Mrs. B. H. Hickox, John 
G. Ragan, Mrs. Eepsibah Ragan, A. H. Hanly, Mrs. Susan Hanly, 
Job Toles, Mrs. Samantha Toles, Justus Bangs, Mrs. Caroline 

<s~ — 


• fe^--- — — - ^=x 


Bangs, W. H. Hoffman, Mrs. Mary S. Hoffman, Joel EL Johnson, 
Mrs. Maria Johnson, Lorenzo Hinckston, E. M. Denis, Albert 
Kapple, Mrs. Corena Kapple, George Gage, Mrs. M. P. Gage, E. 
A. Beers, M. D., Mrs. Esther M. Beers, Jehial Oompton, Charles 
A. Partridge. 

The Old Settlers' Association held their second reunion after the 
organization of the society at McHenry, June 14, 1877. 

The next Old Settlers' Eeunion was held at "Woodstock, June 13, 
1878. The exercises took place on the Fair Grounds, in the 
presence of about 5,000 people. The meeting was called to order 
by the president; the choir sang "The Star Spangled Banner;" 
Kev. E. K. Todd offered prayer; the McBenry band gave music; 
and Joel H. Johnson, Esq., delivered the opening address. Hon. 
John F. Farnsworth (" Long John") delivered the principal speech 
of the day. It was a good one, and excited hearty laughter and 
applause. Remarks followed by Colonel Gordon S. Hubbard, of 
Chicago; B. W. Raymond and Judge Morrison, of Chicago. The 
exercises concluded with "Auld Lang Syne." Mrs. Margaret 
Gillilan, the first white woman who came to the county, was pres- 
ent, and received much attention. Colonel Gordon S. Hubbard 
one of the earliest settlers west of Chicago, and formerly an Indian 
trader, also received his share of honors. A game of ball for the 
boys, and a dance in the evening concluded the exercises of th 

At a meeting of the Old Settlers' Association held at McHenry, 
Feb. 26, 1880, the following officers were elected for the ensuing 
year: President, Justus Bangs, of Wauconda; Vice-Presidents, 
Joel H.Johnson, McHenry County, John G. Ragan, Lake County; 
Treasurer, Wesley Ladd, McHenry; Secretary, J. Van Slyke, Mc- 
Henry; Corresponding Secretaries, C. A. Partridge, Lake County, 
M. C. Dufield, McHenry County Executive Committee, Hon. F. 
K. Granger, Hon. Neill Donnelly, Job Toles, for McHenry County; 
H. B. Burrett, Lorenzo Hinkston, W. C. Howard, for Lake 
Connty. Voted to hold the next reunion at Wauconda, June 16. 

The annual meeting of the Old Settlers' Association of Mc- 
Henry and Lake counties was held at McHenry, Sept. 6, 1883, and 
was a grand success in every particular. John G. Ragan presided, 
and Rev. Joel Wheeler acted as Chaplain. Hon. Richard Bishop 
delivered the address of welcome. Speeches followed from the 
President, Mr. Ragan, Hon. T. D. Murphy, Geo. Waite, Hon. E. 
M. Haines, of Lake County, F. Markus and Hon. H. W. McLean. 

■f « — »\- 


An original poem, composed for the occasion by Peter Goff, of 
Chicago, was presented but not read owing to the lateness of the 
hour. The attendance was large and the exercises were unusually 


The ninth annual re-union and picnic of the Old Settlers' As- 
sociation of McHenry and Lake counties was held at Slusser's 
Park, Hainesville, on Thursday last, Aug. 21. The day was all 
that could have been wished, the shower the night before hav- 
ing laid the dust and cooled the atmosphere, making it one of the 
most pleasant days of the season. 

At an early hour the crowd, men, women and children, began to 
arrive, and by noon was estimated at fully 1,000 persons, all bent 
on having a good time. 

About one o'clock the meeting was called to order by the presi- 
dent pro tern, and the following programme was carried out : 

Music by the Band. 

Prayer by Rev. Joel Wheeler. 

Vocal Music— "Star Spangled Banner." 

Address— Hon. L. L. Mills, State's Attorney of Cook County. 

Music by the Band . 

Address — Chas. Whitney, Esq., State's Attorney of Lake County. 

Vocal Music— "Old Friends and Old Times." 

Poem — By Dr. S. F. Bennett, of Richmond. 

Music — Military Band. 

Address — Hon. Geo Gage, of McHenry. 

Address — Hod. James Pollock, 

Voluntary Addresses. 

The address of Mr. Mills was a masterpiece of eloquence and 
logic and no one present would dispute, after listening to him, all 
that is claimed for him as being one of the most eloquent and 
talented orators in the State. No synopsis we could give would 
half do him justice, and we therefore give below his address in full : 
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen : 

Under the venerable forest growth of this beautiful region we 
meet to-day to celebrate a jubilee. Here are gathered the young 
and old to think and talk of earlier days, the former to learn and 
the latter to teach, and all to rejoice because of a great history and 
the happy survival in our midst of those brave men and women 
who were among the early settlers. 

It is well that we are here, and that Lake and McHenry counties 
have adopted the institution of the Old Settlers' picnic. Thus 



history is kept alive ; the living lips of the fathers tell to the sons 
the accurate story of a memorable past, whose record, truer than 
tradition, is repeated by the very men who made it. Fortunate it 
is for the youth of the State that the past, filled with endeavors 
and events, is so near its present that they can learn a great his- 
tory by converse, and that, for their own living,, they can draw an 
inspiration from the very presence and words of the enterprising, 
judicious and intrepid pioneers of Illinois. 

As time advances, history becomes more intense. The sixty- 
seven years of Illinois as a State of the Union are crowded with 
a historical significance to which centuries of a remoter epoch 
could offer no comparison. In 1818 its population was 50,- 
000; in 1880 it was over 3,000,000; in 1859 its corn production 
was 115,000,000 ; in 1879, 326,000,000 bushels ; in 1859 its wheat 
production was 24,000,000, in 1879, 51,000,000 bushels. Its me- 
tropolis, Chicago, with a population of over 600,000, is the product 
of fifty years. 

Tour beautiful Woodstock and McHenry began as late as 1836, 
and Waukegan was known as such no earlier than 1847, when the 
distinguished jurist, loved by his neighbors and honored by his 
country, the Hon. Henry W. Blodgett, suggested the new name in 
place of that of The Little Fort, then more than a century old, a 
relic of the earliest day. JSTo generation of men ever witnessed a 
grander growth in industry, enterprise and civilization ; no his- 
toric era in ancient or modern days exhibits such rapidity and sta- 
bility of progress. . , 

Fifty years ago this was a wilderness, without roads, except 
Indian trails; with forests deep and dark ; with prairies of tall 
grass ; with only jealous savages to welcome, and a cabin of logs 
for the home of the immigrant. Here, then, came and began this 
intense history of development, the young pioneer. He had . 
journeyed from New England, or neighboring places; his con- 
veyance was a rude wagon ; his companions, the young wife and 
children; his weapon of defense, the implement of his industry, 
the ax with the honest blade. 

Every age has its type of manhood ; the ancient sculptured 
beauty and the philosopher ; the Middle Ages painted the battles 
of rival countries and placed their hero-making art in the nailery 
of time. The hero of the nineteenth century is the pioneer. He 
seeks discovery all round the world. He is Livingstone in Africa 
the Arctic explorer, foolish or wise in the enthusiasm of his time 



facing the freezing storm to find the open sea ; above all, he is the 
sturdy youth who cleaves the forests, wins lands waiting with 
fertility, builds towns and cities and creates great States. 

The old settlers of Illinois are of the class whose type is the 
heroism of the age. They laid the foundations of the State. 
Their spirit and toil none even now can fully know; the Western 
wilds of a half century ago are beyond our horizon ; the Indian 
seems almost like a figure in a romance ; the log cabin is sup- 
planted; the ax and the plow are minor implements compared 
with recent inventions. The vicissitudes of the pioneer, his hard- 
ships in forest and field, his unfailing pluck and spirit and his in- 
domitable industry are a heritage for youth and an inspiration for 
the generations hereafter. 

It is well that we meet these pioneers ; they teach a thousand 
lessons. They were brave enough for Western wilds, persistent 
enough to make long and wearisome and dangerous journeys 
through a strange land and to a strange destination. They had the 
breadth of vision to know the limitless possibilities of the West, 
the spirit to develop them and the courage and persistence of 

From this beautiful place of Nature they look abroad to-day. 
Every eye is clear to 6ee the grand result — -great, wide-spreading 
farms, with homes of comfort ; barns filled with cattle, and grana- 
ries accustomed to splendid harvests ; the dark woods made beau- 
tiful for pleasure ; the school-house in every hamlet and the 
church beckoning the hearts of men to higher things. 

The enjoyment of the old settlers inspires us who are younger ; 
by toil and bravery and manly character they won this day and 
have the right to claim its triumph. To us the lesson comes that 
enterprise is the true spirit of the time, bravery the honoring 
characteristic of the American, patient industry the foundation of 
his success, and the school and church the climax of his civiliza- 
tion. In the atmosphere of this celebration we learn that there is 
no maxim higher than manhood, no adage superior to industry 
and courage, and no success greater than a community composed of 
men and women who love labor, erect homes, and in law and peace 
are friends together under the protecting and guiding guardian- 
ship of religious sentiments. 

To Lake and McHenry counties we may say your beginnings 
were made by splendid men, your woods were hewed by their in- 
dustrious forestry, your fields were tilled and made fallow for the 



4^^ - a k- 


future by their toil, your schools and churches were builded by 
their sentiments. 

And in all the story of this magnificent growth no fact is a 
greater continuation of the pioneer's endeavors than the patriot- 
ism of these counties. How many hundreds rushed to the de- 
ense of the flag in those sad days when the nation's life was 
threatened. Regiments went forth from Lake and McHenry, and in 
them to-day there is not a graveyard where a soldier does not lie, 
dead from his country's battle. There is scarcely a home from 
Waukegan to the western limits of McHenry County that does 
not mourn a boy or man who died for his nation. 

Thus the spirit of the pioneer expressed itself in the heart of 
the patriot son ; and the sentiment of the ax and the plow in the 
early advances of the first settlers, to make a State, was proclaimed 
again by the voices and sustained by the stout arms of the farmer 
boys who fought for and saved a nation. 

Old settlers of Lake and McHenry counties, it is indeed to me 
an honor to speak to you among whom live great men — Blodgett, 
McAllister, Upton, Haines, Murphy and men like these — you, who, 
likewise great, have helped to make the State and placed upon its 
shoulders near the lake the decoration of your industry and 

To you, ladies and gentlemen, we doff our hats and give the 
tribute of praise and say : " Long life to one and all." 

The next speaker introduced was the Hon. Charles Whitney, of 
Waukegan. His remarks were based, not upon the written but 
unwritten history of McHenry and Lake counties, and were ad- 
dressed more particularly to the younger portion of the assembly. 
He is an easy, polished speaker, and his remarks were listened to 
with the closest attention by all. 

The next in order was the poem, written for the occasion by 
Dr. S. F. Bennett, of Richmond, author of the " Sweet Bye and 
Bye." To those who know Dr. Bennett and have read his produc- 
tions, we have no need to say it was good. He prefaced his poem 
by stating that he came to this part of the country when a small 
boy, something over forty years ago, and consequently knew per- 
sonally of some of the trials and vicissitudes the early settlers 
were obliged to undergo, and had intended to commence in his poem 
at the beginning and follow them down to the present time, but 
for want of time had been obliged to stop after getting the log 
house built and the mammoth chimney on the outside. He would 




have liked to have followed on and given his hearers a regular old- 
fashioned Methodist meeting, a pioneer wedding, etc., but his 
time had been so limited he had been unable to do so. However, 
the Doctor, as usual, did honor to the subject and occasion, and, 
like the addresses reported above, we cannot do it justice in any 
other way, so give it in full : 



As warmer suns with fervid glow 

Succeed the Winter's frost and snow, 

To dormant Earth once more to bring 

The blessed miracle of Spring ; — 

As through the leafless branches plays 

A promise of the flowery Mays, 

Until the pulses of the grove 

To Nature's heart-throb rhythmic move, 

And tiny leaf, and blossom show 

The stirring life the mold below, 

So shine, O Sun of Poesy ! 

So breathe, O breath of meloiy, 

Into this heart in harmony ! 

O warm it with thy fire divine, , 

O stir it with that breath of thine, 

Until the hand that writes this hour 

Shall move obedient to thy power ; 

Until these lines shall, happly, be 

The perfect flowers of poesy ! 

The blooms of Spring, the Winter's rime, 

Attest thy charity, O Time ! 

Thy changing seasons, each in turn, 

New blessings bring to fill life's urn, 

And every new-born mystery 

Survives for aye in memory. 

To thy most sacred precincts turn, 

And ope, O heart of mine, that urn, 

Where, sacredest of all, appears 

The record of the pioneers ! 

Brave stalwart men, born Nature's kings, 

True hearted woman, Nature's queens, 

Commissioned by a power divine 

To conquer even deathless time, 

And leave a name that erst shall shine 

With brighter, purer ray, 

While age on ages come and go, 

And heaven shall smile, and earth shall glow, 

And all around, above, below, 

Shall greet Millennium's day ! 


M y-- - — h **- 


From piny woods of rock-bound Maine, 
With hearts of oak, the heroes came ! 
Undaunted by regrets or fears, 
Vermont sent forth her mountaineers ; 
The Empire State, too, swelled the train, 
And Massachusetts greeted Maine ; 
From valleys smiling in the sun, 
From streams that, hasting, seaward run, 
From lakes, like mirrors framed in hills, 
Whose bosky summits felt the thrills 
The morning song-bird sings and trills, 
Rejoicing to be free ; 
From orchards which a father's hand 
Had planted in an untried land, 
With faith in God and courage grand, 
And thoughts of liberty ; 
From homes their hardy hands had reared ; 
From gardens that to them appeared 
The gates of Paradise ; 
From altars where the voice of prayer 
Had floated on the morning air 
•Away to fairer skies ; 
The toil before him each one spurned, 
With faces blithely westward turned — 
The fathers, mothers, girls and boys, 
Sought homes in glorious Illinois. 

Not then, as now, the iron rail 
Stretched o'er the hilltop, through the vale, 
And bore the steed whose thews of steel 
No pining of fatigue can feel. 
The white-bowed wagon lumbered through 
The virgin forest, treacherous slough, 
And, while the morns to evenings wore, 
The household gods and treasures bore. 
'Twas toil, but toil wilh pleasure blest; 
The evening brought its boon of rest, 
Although the roof they yet could see 
Was only heaven's canopy. 
Perchance the night bird's cry of fear, 
Or wolf or panther prowling near, 
Might sometimes blunt their pleasure's zest, 
And break a space the sense of rest ; 
But morning, with its gladsome call, 
Restored the light of hope to all. 
The days wore on to weeks, but ills 
Could not subdue their iron wills ; 
A feast of game the day begun, 
Supplied by trusty dog and gun ; 
The streams gave up their finny prey 
To grace the meal at closing day; 



The landscape's ever varying view 
Brought, hourly, pleasures ever new ; 
The air, untainted, sweet as when 
Earth first became the home of men, 
Secured to each that priceless wealth, 
The bounding pulse and glow of health. 

But home at last — a Western home, 
Amid McHenry's stretch of bloom, 
Or where Lake's prairies wide and fair 
With perfume loaded all the air! 
The prairies, seas of living green, 
With groves of beauty set between ; 
Bright lakes that sparkled in the sun, 
And slept in peace when day was done ; 
Sweet streams whose singing Nature's bars 
Had set to music of the stars — 
A heritage, O land most fair, 
The very sons of God might wear! 
Italy's sunny vales might be 
To other eyes more fair than thee ; 
Thy purple vineyards, lovely France, 
To some might richer, seem, perchance ; 
The Emerald Island's slopes of green 
Are charming in the summer's sheen ; 
Old England's gardens' sweet surprise 
May seem the fields of Paradise, 
Or earthly heaven, to English eyes ; 
But oh, to us no land so fair 
As Lake and blest McHenry are! 
No other land, to mortal view, 
Smiles under skies so heavenly blue! 
No other land such blessing bears 
Of healthful and enchanting airs ! 
Not e'en the Switzer's silvery lakes 
The prize of beauty from us takes! 
No land, not e'en the Land of Dreams, 
Has purer, brighter laughing streams ! 
O Land of Beauty — this our pride I 
We would no other land beside ! 

Such is the land that blooms to cheer 
The hardy Western pioneer. 
No roof awaits him ready made 
To shelter from the sun or shade ; 
So seize the ax ! The wood of green 
Is waiting in the sunlight's sheen, 
With only it and thee between 
A house as brave as e'er was seen ! 
The forest monarchs quivering feel 
The wounding of the gleaming steel, 
And soon the thunderous echoes tell 


-. e 



Where one by oae the monarchs fell, 
While patient oxen slowly move 
The boles to rear a home of love. 
Notch well the ends with jealous care, 
That each to each, well fitted, bear 
The roof anon to shelter there ! 

Now come the^neighbors, stalwart men, 
And merry in their ways as when, 
With laugh and shout of careless boys, 
In Eastern homes they sought their toys. 
Roll log on log safe into place ! 
The rugged structure grows apace! 
Its walls of oak will laugh to scorn 
The onset of the wildest storm, 
And scoff the gnawing tooth of time, 
The Summer's heat, the Winter's rime, 
And, be the need, we well might know 
'Twere proof against the Indian foe. 
Now rear the rafters, saplings tall, 
To overlook and^cover all ! 
Ah, blithe is he the task who wins 
To fasten them with wooden pins, 
And so arrange that they may take 
The curious shingle called a "shake." 
Rough is the covering, in sooth, 
To one who knew an Eastern roof, 
But competent to shield from rain, 
E'en though the snows an entrance gain. 
"Rived" from a tree picked out with care, 
Like baby boards the "shakes" appear, 
And, guiltless of the smoothing plane, 
A work at once too nice and vain, 
In shaggy "courses" soon they lie 
Between the family and sky ! 
No nails must mar the buildings plan — 
Leave such to less enlightened man ! 
And fasten them with wooden pin 
And arrowy sapling, tall and trim. 
Now split from log of toughest oak 
The "chinks" each gaping crack to choke, 
For, use with skill the greatest care, 
Between the logs such openings are. 
And here again the wooden pin 
Secures the chinking safely in ; 
The tough clay at the structure's side, 
Or from the cellar scattered wide, 
Supplies the mortar, guiltless lime, 
(Whose use were foolishness sublime) 
To close each crevice all secure, 
And make each inmate's comfort sure. 


<*T — - . ^zr*K< 


No doors or windows yet have we I 
How this dilemma solve ? Ah, see ! 
The gleaming ax once more descends, 
And through the oak an opening rends, 
Where soon, ere lies, perchance, the floor, 
Will swing a massive oaken door, 
Oa oaken hinges safely hung, 
Which shrilly creaks whene'er 'tis swung ! 
Another opening, wide and high, 
Reveals a patch of land and sky, 
Where, built of skillful masonry, 
The massive fireplace soon will be ; 
Its walls, of rocks that drifted lay 
About the fields but yesterday ; 
Its mantle, massive beam of oak ; 
Its chimney, whose capacious throat 
Curves outward from the building's side, 
Is built of sticks, with clay inside. 
Roll in the back log, two feet through, 
And lay the forestick just and true ; 
Fill in between with smaller wood, 
(The pile would make a wagon load), 
And soon a fire shall hiss and roar 
To drive the frost beyond the door ! 

And such the homes of pioneers, 

The heroes of our new frontier's 

Whose hardened muscles, used to toil, 

Subdued the stubborn native soil, 

And crowned with harvests golden, grand, 

The bounteous acres of the land. 

Heaven bless them, bless them every one, 
For what they are, what they have done! 
And as they journey, one by one, 
To that fair land beyond earth's sun, 
God grant their Paradise may be 
A Heaven of glad felicity ! 

[Note by the Author : "The Pioneers" is not a finished poem. Its original 
plan took in a much wider scope — so wide, indeed, that I did not have time to 
finish the work in time for the "Old Settlers' Meeting," but had to bring it to an 
abrupt close. I have since written 280 additional lines, but much more remains 
to be written, and so I conclude to publish at this time only what was read at 
the meeting, hoping at some future time to give my friends the whole poem in 
book form. S. Fillmore Bennett.] 

Hon. Geo. Gage, one of the oldest settlers of the association, 
was then called for, and made a few very happy and well-timed 
remarks. He said that as the speakers who preceded him had 
said about all there was to say, he would be obliged to do as the 
boy did who went after the cows, viz.: " Scatter." He referred in 


ZZ^ -^Zlffe^ 


feeling terms to the old settlers who had passed away since our 
last meeting, and paid a glowing tribute to their memory as be- 
longing to the army of pioneers who had done so much to make 
this country what it was. His remarks throughout were both 
pleasing and instructive, and brought back to the memory of 
many old settlers the days of long ago. 

Hon. James Pollock, John G. Ragan, Mr. Whitmore and 
others were then called for, who came forward and made remarks, 
and after music by the brass and martial bands, the exercises at 
the stand were closed. 

Then came the social part of the reunion. Old settlers renewed 
acquaintances of forty years ago, and by the hearty shake of 
the hand and pleasant smile that illuminated countenances on 
which old Time had left his mark of three score years and ten, 
one could but know that it was a real pleasure for them to meet 
under such favorable circumstances and in such a pleasant place, 
in this year of grace 1884. 

To Mr. Slusser the association are under great obligations for 
the hospitality extended to them, one and all, on this occasion. 
His beautiful park was thrown open, and nothing was left undone 
that would tend to the pleasure and comfort of both old and 
young. His hotel and grounds are the handsomest and best ar- 
ranged of any summer resort in the Northwest, and all who go 
there are sure of hospitable treatment and good fare. 

To the quartette, Miss Clark, organist, the Antioch Brass Band 
and the Martial Band the association would return thanks for the 
splendid music furnished for the occasion. 

Thus ended the Old Settlers' Reunion of McHenry and Lake 
counties for the year 1884. That each one who was with us this 
year may be spared to meet with us one year hence is the wish of 
your humble servant. 


The following list of old settlers of McHenry Couuty, with dates 
of their coming to the county, was aken from the secretaries' 
books of Old Settlers' Association : 

0. W. Owen, June 15, 1840: Harriet Owen, May 15, 1848; A. 
H. Hanly, Susan Hanly, George Gage, Mrs. M. P. Gage, E. A. 
Beers, M. D., Esther M. Beers; Samuel H. Walker, June 20, 1836; 
William Hutson, December, 1849; Mark Hickox, Mrs. B. H. 
Hickox, Job Toles, Samantha Toles, William H. Huffman, Mary 



S. Huffman; Joel H. Johnson, Oct. 10, 1836; Maria Johnson, 
James Robbins; Neil Donnelly, June 15, 1838; J. H. Giddings, 
June 1, 1832; Levi A. Rairdon, August, 1834; Jame3 B. Church, 
May 17, 1851; J. M. Kimball, May, 1837; Alvin Judd, February, 
1836; John Snowden, July 9, 1839; Peter Whitney, May 15, 1849; 
A. Oarmack, May 16,1831; E. E. Richards, June 10, 1852; J. F. 
Moore, Oct. 14, 1837; D. E. Barrows, Sept. 9, 1839; H. D. Judd, 
February, 1836; ffm. A. McConnell, Sept. 10,1836; Erastus Rich- 
ards, June 26, 1852; 0. Rhodes, 1842; F. Diggins, July, 1835; 
Henry Dake, Nov. 15, 1843; C. R. Brown, October, 1844; Russell 
Diggins, May, 1836; Win. Moore, June, 1841; John M. Craine, 
June, 1850; W. Whittemore, June, 1837; A. W. Beardsley, Sep- 
tember, 1835; Johu F. Huffman, November, 1838; Sheldon Colyer, 
July, 1857; O. Willey, March, 1834; E. W. Smith, June, 1838; E. 
M. Owen, June,1838; O. M. Pendleton, Oct. 15, 1842; T. S. Oarr, 
June, 1836; Thos. Mc D. Richards, May, 1846; J. Penman, Jr., 
March, 1849; L. M. Woodard, May, 1843; Lewis Hatch, 1837; O. 
Beardsley. October, 1835; R H. Carr, June, 1837; S. S. Ohapell, 
Nov. 5, 1837; Mrs. S. T. Eldredge, October, 1838; J. W. Salisbury, 
April, 1841; T. J. Richards. November, 1839; Allen Sisson, March 
14, 1833; D. H. Bronson, July 6, 1836; Rebecca Howard, July 13, 
1839; James Crow, July 4, 1847; Richard Gillilan, November, 
1834; Chas. H. Tryon, August, 1837; C. Rich, May, 1843; Adam 
Mosgrove, 1834; C. Hastings, June, 1839; Chas. Kuhnert, Aug. 
10, 1848; Rev. R. K. Todd, July, 1847; C. O. Parsons, March, 
1838; Martin Metcalf, May, 1844. 

Present Officers. — Jehiel Compton, President; J. H. Johnson, 
Vice-President; Richard Bishop, Treasurer, J. Van Slyke, Sec- 

-» B*r 



A Chapter Devoted to Eminent and Worthy Citizens, Pioneers 
and Others Whose Life Work is Completed. — Farmers, Busi- 
ness Men, Soldiers, Legislators, Editors and Educators. — 
The Early Settlers. —Eminent Men of Woodstock. — Of Other 
Parts of the Counts". — Incidents in Pioneer Life. — Achieve- 
ments and Honors. 

George B. Adams, of Marengo, died in May, 1883. He came 
to Illinois from Vermont about twenty-seven years before and had 
resided in Marengo twenty-five years. He was a man of ample 
means, an earnest member of the Baptist church, and one of the 
most worthy citizens of the county. He held various local offices 
and was a usefal man in the community. 

Sebre D. Baldwin, a young but very able man, died Sept. 23, 
1883, aged thirty-three years. He served the county as an educator 
for seventeen years, and for eight years was principle of the Mc- 
Henry schools. He was elected County Superintendent of Schools 
in 1882 and discharged his duties with fidelity. He was a man of 
good character, held in high respect by all who knew him. He 
was born in Greenwood, March 7, 1850, and educated in the com- 
mon schools and at the Milton, Wis., College which he attended 
for a year. He was one of the best teachers in the county. 

Osborn Barber was born in Harwinton, Litchfield Co., Conn., 
in 1793; died in Woodstock, 111., Feb. 13, 1881. He spent some 
years in Lake County, Ohio, and in 1846 settled in Kichmond, Mc- 
Henry Co., 111. He afterward removed to Wisconsin, thence 
back to McHenry County. He passed the latter part of his life 
in Woodstock. He was a good man and much respected. 

George W. BENTLEY.was born in Dover, Dutchess Co. ,N. Y., 
Aug. 3, 1808, and resided in his native county until 1831. He 
then married Miss Eleanor C. Hotchkiss, who survives him, and 
removed to Honeoye Falls, in Western New York where he was 
engaged in the drug business until 1847. He then removed to 



"Woodstock, 111. After his arrival in McHenry County he engaged 
in the mercantile business for a short time, then went to farming 
until L855 when he was elected Sheriff of the county. He served 
a term of two years, proving a very competent officer. At the ex- 
piration of his term he again engaged in the mercantile business 
and followed it a few years. He next purchased a farm and en- 
gaged extensively in fruit raising. He died Dec. 27, 1879, leaving 
a widow and four children. He was a man of great energy and 
enterprise and had a large circle of friends and acquaintances by 
whom he was much esteemed. 

Aaron P. Boomer was born in Ellisburg, ~N. Y., in 1806. He 
moved to Ohio in 1833, and thence to ISTunda Township, McHenry 
Co., 111., in 1845. He subsequently removed to McHenry, and a 
short time before his death to Woodstock. He died June 17, 1882, 
leaving a widow and several sons and daughters. 

James Bryant was one of the pioneers of Nunda. He emigrated 
from New Hampshire in 1837, and settled upon a farm where he 
remained until his death. He was honest, upright, prompt and 
fair in business, and a much-esteemed citizen. He died in 1866, 
in his seventy-fifth year. 

Richard Burk was born in Ireland, in 1800. He settled in 
Greenwood, McHenry County, in 1841, and here resided until his 
death, in 1876. He was a man of genial nature, of industrious 
habits, and was highly respected. 

Colonel Ebenezee S. Caldwell died at Crystal Lake, Jan. 18, 
1879, at the age of ninety-one years. He was born at New Hart- 
ford, Litchaeld Co., Coun., Oct. 7, 1787; in 1802 moved with his 
parents to Madison County, N. Y.; in 1808 married Sally Clark. 
Served in the war of 1812, at Sackett's Harbor, K Y. ; in 1820 
joined the Congregational church, and thenceforth led an earnest 
and faithful Christian life. In 1845 he removed to Racine County, 
Wis., and subsequently to McHenry County, 111. He was an 
earnest friend of the anti-slavery movement and other Christian 

Silas Chatfield was born in Berkshire County, Mass., in 1781. 
At the age of sixteen he moved to Cayuga County, N. Y. While 
there he enlisted in the war of 1812, serving as Lieutenant, and 
afterward as Captain. In 1818 he removed to Cuyahoga County, 
Ohio, where he remained until 1836. Then he came to Illinois, 
settling at Pleasant Grove, near Marengo. In 1839 he removed 
about five miles north to the farm where he spent the remainder of 

- y^^ — — ^=y - 



his days. He died April 2, 1866. He was a good citizen and was 
highly esteemed. 

Leander Church was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., June 8 
1810, and died in "Woodstock, 111., Dec. 20, 1880. He came to 
Illinois in 1848, and thereafter he and his family were actively 
identified with the interests of McHenry County. Mr. Church 
was at one time the landlord of the "Waverly House, and was popu- 
lar with all who knew him. His career was straightforward and 
honorable. He was a Mason of high standing. Mr. Church left a 
family of three sons and four daughters. 

Hon. Neill Donnelly, prominently identified with the interests 
of McHenry County for many years, died in the city of "Wood- 
stock, Feb. 19, 1883. He was born in the town of Killamuck, 
Parish of Bullondery, County Derry, Ireland, May 12, 1816. At 
the age of thirteen he was left an orphan and thrown upon the cold 
charity of the world. This fact, doubtless, had a tendency to 
strengthen his confidence in himself and make him strong and self- 
reliant. Finding it difficult to make a living in his own land, in 
the year 1833 he sold the little property which he possessed and 
came to America with the proceeds. He worked in the factories 
in Lowell, Mass., and neighboring cities, attending the evening 
schools and improving his mind what he could. In 1838, together 
with his wife and child, he came to Illinois and took up land upon 
Queen Ann Prairie. The first year's crop he lost by fire. "With- 
out means, but with that industry and perseverance which charac- 
terized his after life, he left his family with his mother and went 
back East, where he labored one year. He then returned to his 
family, and, by persevering economy, in a few years acquired con- 
siderable property. For ten years he continued farming in the 
town of Greenwood. In 1848 he removed to Woodstock, where, 
three years later, he engaged in the mercantile business, which he 
followed until his death. In the year 1857, when times were hard 
and crops almost a failure, his was one of the few mercantile estab- 
lishments which passed through the trying time without failure or 
suspension. At that time, although much was due him and he 
was hard pressed, instead of enforcing collections from his debtors, 
he borrowed money, mortgaging his property, and distributed 
funds among those whom he was owing, informing them of his 
reasons for his act. Thus he saved his own credit and was relieved 
from the responsibility of bringing ruin upon his friends. His 
generosity was appreciated by his customers, and his business in- 




creased. Mr. Donnelly was active in promoting the interests of 
the public. He was the prime mover in obtaining the charter of 
the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad, now the Chicago & North- 
western. He was also largely instrumental in securing the fine 
school building of the city of Woodstock. In 1863 he was chair- 
man of the building committee of the St. Mary's Koman Catholic 
Church. He paid for the most of the edifice himself, and was 
afterward reimbursed by the members. He served upon the Board 
of Supervisors, and was chairman of the committee selected to 
build the present court-house, and he superintended its construc- 
tion. He was always faithful in the public service. Politically 
he always acted with the Democratic party, and was one of its 
leaders in this county. At one time when secession threatened the 
destruction of the Union, he took a firm stand for the patriotic 
cause, and throughout the years of war and bloodshed had the 
proud distinction of being an unswerving Union man. He served 
as Coroner of the county in 1845 and 1846, and was Sheriff in 1849 
and 1850. In 1857 he was nominated for Congress by the Demo- 
crats, and polled a larger vote than any other Democrat ever nomi- 
nated for that position in this section of the State. He was an 
able stump speaker, gifted with wit and an aptness for repartee. 
His known honesty and his strength in argument made him also 
a very effective speaker. He was twice elected Mayor of the City 
of Woodstock, and in that position gave evidence of superior exec- 
utive ability. Mr. Donnelly was a firm believer in the Christian 
religion, and one of the foremost members of the Catholic church. 
He was charitable and friendly to the unfortunate. In 1862 he 
purchased the site of the Catholic cemetery and had it laid out into 
lots. In Mr. Donnelly's death, Woodstock lost one of its best 

Josiah Dwight, one of the most prominent of the early settlers, 
came from Northampton, Mass., to McHenry County, in the spring 
of 1538, and located in Greenwood. Thence, in 1846, he removed 
to Woodstock, where he was prominent in various official capacities 
for many years. In 1876 he removed to Wyoming, near Cincin- 
nati, Ohio, where he died Dec. 30, 1878, aged sixty-four years. 
Mr. Dwight established and published the Illinois Republican, the 
first newspaper in McHenry County, which attained high rank as 
a county newspaper under his editorial charge. He also edited the 
Sentinel for several years. During the administration of Taylor 
and Tyler he was Postmaster at Woodstock, and performed his 

— — s 1 


duties in a manner satisfactory to all. For nearly twenty years be 
was in the circuit clerk's cffice, either as principal or deputy, prov- 
ing himself a very competent official. He was a man of much 
good sense and native ability, and his death was widely mourned. 

Abel W. Fuller was one of the early and prominent business 
men of Woodstock. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1821, and 
received a limited education. In 1844 he came West without 
money and with no prospects. Calling on his friend, I. R. Lyon, 
at Waukegan, he obtained employment as clerk in his store. Sub- 
sequently he worked at carpentry, then peddled goods on the road. 
In 1849 he settled in Woodstock, and commenced the dry-goods 
business in partnership with I. R. Lyon, his former employer. In 
1851 J. F. Lyon was added to the firm, which carried on a large 
business in the style of Lyon, Fuller & Co. J. F. Lyon retired in 
1854. In 1857 E. E. Sherwood became one of the firm, which was 
then Lyon, Fuller & Sherwood. I. R. Lyon retired in 1861, and 
the business was carried on by Fuller & Sherwood until the de- 
cease of the former. Mr. Fuller died in August, 1868. He was a 
successful merchant and an honored citizen. 

Robert Gardner was born in Pomfret, Chautauqua Co., N. T., 
July 13,1819; came West in 1838, and to McHenry County in 
1840; resided in Harvard from 1856 until his death, Aug. 9, 1877. 
In 1847 he married Sarah M. De Lee, by whom he had eight chil- 
dren. Mr. Gardner was an active business man, and held several 
positions of honor and trust. He was of strong opinions, energetic 
and courageous. He had many friends and was worthy of the 
trust and confidence of them. 

Simon S. Gates was born in Sturbridge, Mass., Oct. 1, 1799, 
and when quite young moved to Worcester. His early life was 
marked by that same decision and energy of character which con- 
tributed so largely to his success in later years. He first visited 
this part of the country in 1838, making the journey from Worces- 
ter, Mass., on horseback and alone. In 1840 he was elected a 
member of the Massachusetts Legislature. In 1852 he settled in 
this county where he passed the remainder of his days. He died 
June 24, 1876, at Crystal Lake. He was a successful business 
man and an honored citizen. He was a member of the Congre- 
gational church, and for several years served as a Deacon in that 

Colonel William Henry, for over thirty years a resident of 
Algonquin, died Jan. 7, 1876, aged eighty-three years. He was 


well and favorably known all over the county. He was interested 
in every enterprise likely to benefit the public, and was quite an 
active politician. 

Reuben Hurd was born in Chenango County, N. Y., in 1819. 
He came to Illinois in 1844, and here married Abigail Thompson. 
He was a prominent member and an Elder of the Presbyterian 
church. He was a Christian gentleman and an esteemed citizen. 
He died in September, 1882, leaving a widow and four children. 

Walter P. Jewett was born near Bennington, Yt., in 1806. 
He came "West in 1836, and settled on Rock River. In 1841 he 
purchased, in McHenry County, the farm southeast of Woodstock, 
known later as the Gregory farm, upon which he resided until 1857. 
He then removed to Woodstock, where he died Jan. 17, 1879. 
His death was very sudden; he was found dead in the stable, where 
he had gone to do the chores. Mr. Jewett's life was one of in- 
tegrity and uprightness, generosity and warm friendship. He was 
most highly esteemed. 

Fred. C. Joslyn, one of the early pioneers of this county, was 
born in Cayuga County, N. Y., and died in Woodstock, 111., Dec. 
12, 1880, aged sixty-three years. He settled at Crystal Lake in 

1838, and for about twenty years prior to his death had resided in 
Woodstock. He was a worthy citizen, and a brother of Judge 
Joslyn, of Woodstock. 

Alvin Judd was born in Chester, Mass., March 29, 1800. He 
came to Illinois in 1836, and to McHenry County iu 1837, residing 
here until his death. He fell dead near his residence, Oct. 4, 
1881. Mr. Judd was the original owner of the tract of land on 
which the greater portion of the city of Woodstock now stands. In 
the early history of the town he kept a tavern here. He was a 
respected citizen, well-known to all the citizens of Woodstock, 
both old and young. 

John Kerr was born in Lancaster, Pa., in 1785; spent his youth 
in Kentucky, removed to Ohio in 1810, and resided there until 

1839. He then came to Boone County, 111., and thence, in 1857, 
to McHenry County. He died in Woodstock, Dec. 13, 1863. He 
was a prominent man in the Whig party, and at one time was a 
candidate for Congress. He was a member of the Methodist 
church for over thirty years, and a very worthy man. He was the 
father of Hon. Wm. Kerr, at one time County Judge. 

Hon. Cornelius Lansing, a man who acted a very prominent 
art in the affairs of McHenry County, died Aug. 25, 1865. He 



i - U — — — — , )fa* 


was born in the State of New York in 1814, and settled in Ma- 
rengo in 1850. He was a man of brilliant mind and unusual 
ability. He held many important official positions, and at the 
time of his death was State Senator. He was an earnest Union 
man during the war, and a highly esteemed citizen. 

Apollos LINCOLN was born in Wilmington, Vt., June 1, 1804, 
and died in Marengo, 111., Feb. 24, 1881. He was reared in the 
Genesee Valley, N. Y., where his father was an early settler. In 
1828 he married Melissa Wart and moved to another part of the 
State. In 1846 he came to McHenry County, 111., where he spent 
the remainder of his days. He was a good citizen and a consist- 
ent member of the Baptist church. 

J. R. Mack, an old and respected citizen, died at Nunda, Jan. 
3, 1879. He was favorably known throughout the eastern part oi 
the county. For several years he was a preacher of the Universal- 
ist denomination. He was the prime mover in the erection of the 
Universalist church at McHenry, and was one of the most zealous 
members of his denomination. His last years were filled with 
suffering, he being confined to his bed for three years previous to 
his death. His age was sixty-one years. 

William McCollum, an aged and respected pioneer, died at his 
home in McHenry, June 1, 1884, in the eighty-fourth year of his 
age. He was born in West Virginia, not far from Steubenville, 
Ohio, Jan. 17, 1801. When three years of age he went with his 
parents to Fairfield County, Ohio, where he remained until 1837- 
In that year, accompanied by his brothers John and David, he 
came to Illinois, and on the 14th of July they pitched their tent 
upon the. west bank of McCollum's. Mr. McCollum was accom- 
panied by his family, which, at that time, consisted of his wife 
and four children. Two years later the McCollum brothers were 
joined by their brother George. All are now dead, John, George, 
David and William, having passed away in the order mentioned. 
A log-house, part of which is still standing on the Samuel Sherman 
place, was built by three of the brothers in 1837. Mr. McCollum 
married Catharine Robinault in 1829, and was the father of six chil- 
dren— Almira, Samantha, Peter, Samuel, Georgeand Margaret, all of 
whom are still living. Mr. McCollumjwas a man of strict honesty 
and integrity, a kind father, a genial neighbor and a faithful friend. 

James A. MoLaven died in Woodstock, Sept. 23, 1883. He was 
born in Johnstown, N. Y., and was seventy-one years old. He 
setafed in Alden, McHenry County, in 1846, and at Woodstock in 

a •— — — 


1875. He was a faithful member of the Presbyterian church, in 
which he had held the office of Elder. As a business man he was 
successful, and as a citizen highly respected. 

John MoOmber. — This aged pioneer took his leave of the scenes 
of this life at McHenry, on the 27th of May, 1884, in the ninetieth 
year of his age. He was a native of Massachusetts, but went to 
Saratoga County, N. Y., when young, and there, in 1817, was 
married to Betsey Monro. They settled in Boone County, K T., 
where seven children were born to them. Their youngest son dying 
in infancy they came with the six remaining children to McHenry 
in June, 1837, when there was but one shanty on the west side of 
Fox River. He erected the first cabin in the place, on the present 
site of E. M. Owen's house. On the 20th of June, 1837, he com- 
menced work on the saw-mill of Mr. Barnum, and completed the 
work after the mill site had passed into other hands. From the 
first lumber sawed at the mill he erected a house where the resi- 
dence of Win. Cristy now stands. He was a skilled mechanic, and 
was almost constantly employed in erecting the first houses that 
were built in McHenry, many of which are still standing. He 
superintended the building of the first court-house in the county. 
He moved, in 1843, to his farm, two miles southwest of McHenry, 
where he resided, alternately working at farming and at his trade, 
until 1857, when he returned to the village. In 1853 he com- 
menced building the Universalist church in McHenry, and com- 
pleted the task the same year, giving much of his time and labor 
to it gratuitously. He was a good man, possessed of a strong 
mind. He was opposed to every sort of sham and hypocrisy; his 
heart was generous and unswerving in fidelity to truth. 

James G. Murphy died in Abingdon, Ill. % March 27, 1880, at 
the age of eighty years. He was born in Nicholas County, W. Va., 
and in 1845 came to Woodstock, 111., residing in this vicinity about 
twenty-three years. He was one of the hardy Virginian settlers to 
whom McHenry County owes so much of its growth and prosperity. 
He was a man much honored and respected, and an active member of 
the Methodist church. He died at the home of his son, H. C. Mur- 
phy. Three of his sons are well-known to the people of Woodstock. 
Hon. T. D. Murphy, A. R. Murphy and Dr. P. W. Murphy. 

Edward Murphy, father of John J. and E. A. Murphy, died 
suddenly in Woodstock, April 27, 1877, in the eighty-second year 
of his age. He came to McHenry County in 1844, and settled in 
the town of Hartland, where he resided until within about fifteen 



years of the date of his death, when he moved to Woodstock; hie 
wife having died he resided with his children, and died at the 
house of his son-in-law. Mr. Murphy possessed a sound, strong 
mind ; was a keen observer and a careful reader, therefore he was 
thoroughly posted on all current affairs. He was a member of 
the Catholic church, and was respected by all who knew him. 

Patrick E. Murphy came to McBLenry County in 1843, settling 
in Hartland. In 1851 he went to California, where he remained 
four years. In 1865 he purchased a grocery in Woodstock and 
carried on that business until 1868, when he died. He was a 
Catholic, a man of good heart and generous impulses. 

Alvin H. Parker was born in Ontario County, N. T., in 1804. 
He came to McHenry County in 1841, and resided here until his 
death,pApril 4, 1879. He was a member of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church for over half a century, and was a very worthy citizen. 
His remains were buried in Hebron. 

Henry Petrie was born at Hudson, N. Y., April 15, 1802, and 
came to McHenry County in 1844. He built a grist-mill at Algon- 
quin, and had stores at that place and at Woodstock. He after- 
ward moved to Chicago, and for some years filled the office of 
Inspector of Liquors. When the "whisky ring" was formed he 
refused to enter into its crooked ways, and resigned his position. 
He was a Spiritualist, and a man of unimpeachable character, with 
a pure and well-stored mind. He died in Chicago, April 3, 1879. 
Thomas J. Richards was born July 16, 1802, in Plainfield, Mass. 
When twelve years old he went with his parents to Hamilton, N. Y., 
then a comparatively new country. In early manhood he returned 
to his native State, and in 1825 he began the mercantile business at 
New Bedford, where he remained several years. His health be- 
coming impaired, he closed his business and went to McKean 
County, Pa., where he engaged in farming and lumbering. Meet- 
ing with financial misfortune in 1837, he decided to seek a home 
in the West, and after a long and tedious journey he located with 
his family near Marengo, 111., where he resided over thirty years. 
He then removed to the farm near Woodstock, where he died Jan. 
22, 1881. Mr. Eichards was a most successful farmer, a man of 
genial and obliging nature and Christian character. He never 
aspired to office, but took great interest in his country's welfare. 
He had a sound mind and a retentive memory. His wife, three 
daughters and two sons survive him. 
John Rookwood, of Ringwood, died Dec. 6, 1874. He was 




eighty-four years of age, and had lived over thirty years on King- 
wood Prairie. He was a friend to every good work and every pub- 
lic enterprise. He was an early Abolitionist, and one of the most 
valiant friends of the temperance cause. He used to canvass for 
signers to the temperance pledge, going from house to house. 

°Chas. H. Ktjssell, one of the earliest settlers of the couuty, 
died in October, 1874, aged sixty-six years. He was elected Clerk 
of the Circuit Court in 1860, and served one term to the entire 
satisfaction of the people. He also held several town offices, and 
at one time was Cashier of the First National Bank of Woodstock. 
He was a man of rare business qualifications, of honorable and 
upright character. 

Kobert G. 'Schryver was born in Duanesburg, Schenectady 
Co. N. T., Dec. 13, 1816. He came to Illinois and located at 
Joliet in 1843, removing thence to McHenry County in 1844, 
after which he was a prominent citizen here until his death, Feb. 
7, 1881. He followed the pursuit of builder, and was engaged by 
the Chicago & Northwestern Kailway Company to take charge of 
the work of building and repairing bridges, buildings, etc, on 
their lines in 1861. He continued to work for that company until 
the winter of 1865- '6, after which he was employed in the con- 
struction of bridges on the Union Pacific Kailroad until that road 
was completed. He was next employed by a firm of bridge build- 
ers to superintend the construction of bridges on a railroad from 
New Orleans to Thibodeaux, La. After the Chicago fire he fol- 
lowed his business for some time in that city, and thenceforth in 
"Woodstock until his death. He died Feb. 7, 1881, leaving a wife, 
five children and a large circle of friends to mourn his loss. 

Eben E. Sherwood, a former business man of "Woodstock, died 
at Sharon, Nov. 15, 1880. He was born in Oxford, N. Y., in 1836, 
and came to Woodstock in 1847. He was a clerk in A. W. Fuller's 
store from 1849 to 1856, then went into partnership with Mr. 
Fuller. For several years prior to his death he was engaged in 
wool buying for a Chicago firm. He possessed good business 
qualifications, and was popular with all who knew him. 

Reuben E. Sherwood was born in Montgomery County, N. Y., 
August, 1799, and died in McHenry County, 111., June 20, 1884 
He left New York State in 1845, and settled in Algonquin Town- 
ship, in this county. The village of Algonquin was then small, 
having but few houses. For some years he ran a ferry at that 
place. Subsequently he bought a farm two miles west of the 



village, where he resided until 1867. He then moved back to the 
village. For several years prior to his death he was an invalid. 
He was a good citizen, of an agreeable, social nature, making 
friends everywhere. He was a life-long Democrat. 

Francis Short was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1800, 
and died in Woodstock, 111., March 13, 1882. Iu 1837, in company 
with relatives and friends, he settled in the Donnelly settlement, 
McHenry County, where he resided until within a few years pre- 
vious to his death.. He was an industrious and successful farmer, 
an honest man and a good citizen. 

Ira Slocum, Sr., died in Woodstock Jan. 12, 1867. He was one 
of the first settlers, and was intimately connected with the growth 
and prosperity of the town, in the welfare of which he exhibited a 
hearty interest. He was held in high esteem by all who knew him. 

William E. Smith, a prominent and influential citizen of Wood- 
stock, died at his home in that city, June 21, 1881. He was born 
in Koyston, England, April 17, 1840. His father died in 1842, 
and his mother was left in adverse circumstances, with two chil- 
dren to care for. She came to America with her boys in 1850, and 
settled among relatives in Quincy, 111. Here William worked in a 
drug store and as a farmer until 1854, when the family moved to 
Chicago. There he found employment in the office of the Chicago 
Journal, where he worked until 1858. In that year, with his 
brother, Abraham E. (afterward of the Rockford Gazette), he 
purchased the Woodstock Sentinel, and was connected with its 
management until May, 1862, when he entered the army as Adju- 
tant of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry. In 
his position he was very popular, and made hosts of friends among 
the soldiers. While at Jackson, Tenn., he was taken ill with ty- 
phoid fever, and for a time his life was in great danger. His 
vigorous constitution enabled him to rally and join his comrades. 
His regiment participated in the Vicksburg campaign under 
General Grant, and at Champion Hills, while bravely urging on 
his regiment, he received a severe wound in his right thigh. He, 
however, pressed on until the enemy were driven from the field. 
He came home for his wound to heal, returning again to the front 
as soon as he was able. As a soldier he was one of the bravest of 
the brave. The manner in which he received the wound which 
finally caused his death is thus narrated in an obituary notice 
from which the facts of this sketch have been gathered: "Some of 
our readers saw the Adjutant of the One Hundred and Twenty- 



fourth, as, mounted upon his noble horse, he darted across a marsh 
enfiladed by rebel shot from the fort (Fort Mobile) to carry an or- 
der to his commanding officer. The daring rider and his horse 
were almost across the ravine, and the huzzas of the Union lines 
were just sounding their gratification at the success of the brave 
officer, who was waving his hat in triumph, when a cruel bullet 
struck his thigh and passed clean through his limb." He lay all 
day in the hot sun before assistance came, and suffered severely in 
consequence. He was taken to Memphis, and thence to Wood- 
stock, in April, 1865, and finally recovered his health in part. In 
1866 he married Ada F., daughter of Colonel L. S. Church. Sub- 
sequently, with his brother, he was connected with the Indianapo- 
lis Gazette, Rockford Register and Rockford Gazette. In 1869 
he returned to "Woodstock and bought the Sentinel, which he con- 
ducted until 1872. He was appointed Postmaster in 1869, and 
resigned in 1874. His health was constantly growing worse. In 
1878 he was appointed State Printer Expert, which office he held 
until May, 1880. He was a talented man, a gallant soldier and a 
true gentleman. He stood among the best and worthiest citizens 
of the county, honored by all who knew him. 

George M. Southworth was born in Bradford, Vt., in 1S48, and 
died in Chicago in 1880. He came to Illinois in 1857 ; in 1866 
engaged in the mercantile business at Crystal Lake ; came to 
Woodstock in 1867 ; served as Deputy Sheriff; from 1868 to 1870 
was Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court. He was a special agent of 
the Postoffice Department from 1870 to 1874 and afterward 
served in the Fidelity Savings Bank of Chicago. He married Miss 
Kate Shuman, of Chicago, in 1878. He was a young man of ex- 
cellent character and had many warm friends. 

Henry M. Wait, County Sheriff from 1843 to 1846, was a man 
whom everybody honored and respected. In every sense of the 
word he was an honorable and exemplary man. Mr. Wait was 
born in Alexander, Genesee Co., N". T., Sept. 11, 1810. He 
came to Kane County, 111., in 1836, moved to Crystal Lake in 
1840 and to Woodstock in 1844. He was one of the most promi- 
nent citizens in the county, active in business, benevolent and 
public spirited, and his life was pure and blameless. Ee died sud- 
denly, falling dead in a store, Oct. 31,1879. He was a man of 
good judgment and sound sense. His disposition was amiable 
and charitable. He was prompt to respond to the call of duty, 
and to give relief to the unfortunate when it was in his power to do 

s> f 


so. He was quiet and unostentatious, but he exacted a potent in- 
fluence in the community. He was a prominent member of the 
Masonic order, and had many friends and no enemies among any 
of his acquaintances. 

Josiah Walkttp, one of the earliest settlers of the county, was 
born in Greenbrier County, Ya., Feb. 22, 1815, and died in Nunda, 
McHenry Co., 111., Sept. 12, 1876. He passed his early life in 
Virginia, and there received a limited common-school education. 
His parents were upright and worthy people, and he was brought 
up with habits of industry, temperance and frugality. In 1835 
he removed with his parents to McHenry County, where he re- 
sided until his death. In 1836 he was converted and thence- 
forth led a blameless Christian life. In 1840 he married Margaret 
St.Clair, who survived him. Mr. Walkup was naturally possessed 
of more than ordinary physical and mental endowments. In busi- 
ness he was faithful and conscientious. For twenty-one years he 
was railroad agent at Crystal Lake station. 

Peescott Whittemoee, a pioneer, well remembered for his fond- 
ness for story telling, good jokes, and genial good nature. He 
was born in Harvard, Mass., July 28, 1787 ; settled near the vil- 
lage of Huntley in 1838 ; resided there until 1861, then went with 
his son to .Nebraska. He was respected by all. He died in Gage 
County, Neb., Jan. 13, 1871. 

F. O. Whitson, of the firm of Whitson & Sons, died Aug. 21 
1878. He was born July 24, 1841 ; spent his earlier years in Wood- 
stock; enlisted in February, 1862, in Company A, Chicago Light 
Artillery, under Major C. M. Willard.and served three years in the 
serious work of campaigning. Later he engaged in the hardware 
business in Woodstock with his father and brother. He was a 
good citizen and a successful business man. His death resulted 
from consumption. 

B. F. Weight was born in Hanover, N. H., in 1810; died in 
Woodstock, 111., Jan. 25, 1879. He lived in his native town un- 
til he attained his majority, then went to Boston, where he married. 
In 1840 he settled near the present town of Palatine, 111. In 1844 
he purchased a farm near Woodstock where he resided sixteen 
years. He then removed to Woodstock and there passed the re- 
mainder of his days. His first wife died in 1863, and in the 
following year he married the lady who survived him. He was a 
cheerful, good-natured, kind-hearted Christian man, and had many 
warm friends. 





A Chapter Devoted to the Dark Side of Life in McHenby 
Count?. — The First Murder Trial. — The First Murder. — 
Dark Deeds of Later Times. — A Whole Family Killed.— 
Suicide and Murder. — A Boy Murdered a Man for Money. — 
Remarkable Storms. — Destruction of Life and Property. — 
Commonplace Accidents. — Railroad Disasters. — Suicides. — 
A Long List of Unfortunate Occurrences. 


The first trial for murder was brought to this county on a change 
of venue. The defendants were Davis and -Taylor Driscoll, who 
were charged with the murder of one Campbell, in Lee County, in 
1843. At that time the Northern part of the State was so infested 
with horse-thieves, counterfeiters and other law-breakers, that the 
law-abiding citizens, for mutual protection, felt called upon to or- 
ganize themselves into a band of " Regulators." Campbell, of Lee 
County, was chosen captain of the organization, and so vigorously 
did he follow up the desperadoes that the latter resolved upon his 
death. The two Driscolls were chosen by lot to perform the deed. 
Going to his house in the day-time, they called Campbell out and 
shot him down, then rode leisurely away. The murder was wit- 
nessed by Campbell's son, a lad about sixteen years of age. 

The trial attracted widespread attention. Young Campbell, n 
giving his testimony, identified the younger Driscoll, who was an 
acquaintance, but little older than himself, and declared that he 
would have shot him at the time if his gun had not missed fire. 
Driscoll interrupted, saying, " Yon would have shot me, would 
you?" " Yes, I would ; and will now if ever I catch you outside of 
the court-room," returned Campbell. The court rebuked the wit- 
ness and the trial proceeded. The verdict, generally believed to 
have been unjust, acquitted the Driscolls. Afterward one of them 
was shot by some unknown avenger. The people of Winnebago 
and Boone counties captured several of the gang, among them the 





old man Driscoll, organized a court on the open prairie, and by a 
summary administration of lynch law, hang two and shot two 
within fifteen minutes. 

•The first murder which took place in the county of McHenry 
was in the summer of 1846. Henry Breidenbucher, a young Ger- 
man, was charged with the murder of Miss Sarah Keiser, to whom 
he was engaged to be married. He, however, was desirous of 
breaking his promise to her and marrying a young German gir 
who had followed him from the Fatherland, and with whom he had 
been intimate before he left Germany. Therefore, to free himself 
from his promise to Miss Keiser he is supposed to have killed her 
by choking as they were returning from the harvest field. The 
indictment preferred against him was not sustained. The trial was 
carried along from term to term, for nearly three years, sometimes 
through failure of the jury to agree and at other times on techni- 
cal grounds. Finally Breidenbucher was adjudged insane and 
sent to the asylum. It is believed by many that he effected his 
escape from the asylum through deceit and is still living and doing 
business under an assumed name in Iowa. He is supposed to 
have effected his release in the following manner: A patient in 
the asylum died of brain trouble, and it was given out that it was 
Breidenbucher who had died. A post-mortem examination was 
held, attended by Briedenbucher's attorneys, and certification was 
made that Breidenbucher had died of the malady which allowed 
him the protection of the asylum. 

Dec. 5, 1857, a young man named Truesdell was murdered at 
Solon. During the year Truesdell's father had rented a farm to 
two Irishmen. When the time came to do the threshing the two 
Irishmen brought two others to help them, and with Truesdell and 
two assistants were to do the threshing for the whole farm. After 
the work was done and the Irishmen were about to leave, one of 
them missed a pair of mittens and accused Truesdell and his com- 
panions of having stolen them. They denied it. As the Irishmen 
were about leaving with their wagon, one of them jumped out and 
struck young Truesdell on the head with a hay-fork breaking his 
skull. The others got out and kicked him brutally. One of 
Truesdell's companions came to the assistance of the injured man, 
and was also struck, receiving a severe gash on the head. The 
Irishmen fled. Whisky had been freely used during the day, and 
probably brought about the murder. 
John Linnahan, an Irishman, was killed at Huntley, April 21 ; 




1860, by his neighbor, Thomas O'Neill. A newspaper account of 
the affair was, in substance, as follows : O'Neill's cattle had 
strayed into Linnahan's enclosure, and during the day Linnahan 
drove them across his field into another, owned by a third party. 
At night, when O'Neill went after his cattle, he was obliged to 
cross Linnahan's field, and in order to get them back had to take 
down the fence and drive the cattle into Linnahan's enclosure. 
While he was taking down the rails for the purpose of driving the 
cattle through, Linnahan came up and struck him across the face 
with a whip. At this O'Neill struck his assailant across the head 
with a fence rail, fracturing his skull and rendering him senseless. 

On the 8th of December, 1866, Martin Cooney, of Hartland, 
visited Woodstock on business, aud in the evening started for home 
on foot. While walking along the railroad, about a mile and a 
half west of town, he suddenly received a terrible blow, given in 
some unknown manner, either with a club or a stone, which 
rendered him unconscious for some time. Recovering a little, he 
was able to reach a neighbor's house about a half mile distant, and 
the next morning was taken to his own home. About a week after 
the assault he died from the effects of it. The motive for the at- 
tack could not be guessed; he had little money, and was not 
robbed of that which he had. 

In July, 1872, John Connor, who lived a short distance south of 
Woodstock, was killed by Benjamin Bedee, in a quarrel. The 
cause of the murder was a dispute concerning the ownership of a 
piece of land of which Connor was in possession. Holcombe, the 
father-in-law of Bedee, claimed the land, and Bedee ordered Con- 
nor to leave it. Words ensued, during which Mrs. Holcombe is 
said to have urged Bedee to kill Connor. She was tried in Wood- 
stock as an accessory but acquitted. Bedee was tried in De Kalb 
County, on a change of venue, found guilty and sentenced to the 
penitentiary for life. 


On Sunday, March 5, 1871, a singular tragedy came to light in 
McHenry. George Walker and family had moved to that place 
rom Wisconsin but a few months before, and rented, as a resi- 
dence, part of a one-story frame building, adjoining Colby's drug 
store. Walker was a quiet, peculiar man, somewhat given to drink, 
and regarded by some of his neighbors as insane. He was a watch- 
maker by trade, but worked here at daily labor. He attended 





strictly to his own business and had very few acquaintances. On 
the day in question, toward evening, theneighbors having not seen 
Walker during the day, some one chanced to^remernber hearing 
him say that he was going to leave this world, that there was no 
place for him or his family here, etc. An alarm was made, and an 
entrance effected into his house, where a startling sight met the 
gaze of the investigators. The father, his boy, about three years 
old, and an infant daughter all lay dead in the bed, while the life 
less body of Mrs. Walker hung suspended from the ceiling of the 
room. A cup containing poison stood on the table. A consider- 
able quantity of provisions was found in the house, showing that 
destitution had not led to the crime. The physicians who were 
called examined the bodies and thought that all had died on Satur- 
day night. The following letter, mostly written by Walker, but 
containing his wife's signature, was found, addressed to Dr. 
Howard : 

"Now, Doctor, we want no serremony or extry trouble with 
these boddys, for our spirets are freed from them, only justis 
done with what we leave behind. Take charge of everything. 

" Yours with much love. 

"We have long premeditated this. We are happy and rejoice 
in takeing our little ones with us from a cold and unfriendly world. 
We leave without fear or dred. Perhaps you may think ns insain. 
Think what you like, and we leave it all in your hands. This is all 
we have to say. Tours, Geoege Walkek. 

"We want no coroner; we are minding our own business, and 
we are all going together. Augusta Walker. 

"We hav no explenation. God is between us. We want you 
to buiry us all in one grave, the boy with me, and the girl with 

"We want no mark of our resting place. 

"Augusta Walkek, 
" Geokge Walkek. 
" To De. Howard." 


A horrible murder and suicide took place near Ring wood on 
Tuesday, May 13, 1873. On the morning of that day, between 
seven and eight o'clock, Mrs. Jane Carr called at the house of her 
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harrison, who lived near by, and on 
entering was horrified to find both her father and mother with 

3 ^ 

* °— 


their throats cut, lying dead upon the floor. Her cries of alarm 
soon brought her husband and another man. to the spot. They dis- 
covered a billet of wood and a bloody razor near the body of Mr. 
Harrison. The table sat in the floor, the breakfast upon it being 
untouched. The coroner was absent but Justice J. B. Church pro- 
ceeded to the scene of the tragedy as soon as possible after hearing 
the news, for the purpose of holding an inquest. 

When he reached the house he found the neighbors assembled in 
large numbers. He hastily impaneled a jury; the evidence brought 
forward seemed to clearly indicate that Harrison had murdered 
his wife and then committed suicide. The supposition is that he 
first struck and stunned his wife with the stick of wood found near, 
then cut her throat. No cause could be assigned for the crime. 
Mr. Harrison was a farmer, fifty-nine years of age, in comfortable 
circumstances, and hitherto respected in the neighborhood. It 
was stated to the coroner's jury that he had always lived happily 
with his wife. 


A horrible mystery received the attention of the people of the 
county in December, 1S7S. On Thursday evening, Dec. 5, accord- 
ing to the Nunda correspondent of the Woodstock Sentinel, a fire 
was seen south of Nunda. No attention was paid to it, as the 
blaze came from a burning hay stack on the Gates farm, two and 
one-half miles south of Crystal Lake. The next morning A. Reed, 
who lived near, went to ascertain what damage had been done, and 
in walking around the stack discovered in the burnt hay the 
charred and blackened remains of a man. Wood was sent to 
Crystal Lake, and several citizens repaired to the spot, where a 
horrible sight met their gaze. The remains were burned and 
charred almost beyond human semblance; one leg burned off up 
to the knee and the other entirely gone; and one arm burned up 
to the elbow. Not a single feature was left by which the body 
could be recognized. 

Over the left eye was found a bullet hole, indicating murder or 
suicide. A remnant of the vest, upon which the body lay, was 
found whole, and in it a watch chain, from which the watch had 
apparently been forcibly pulled; also a fragment of a bank book 
showing that $110 had been drawn from the bank of Elgin. 

A coroner's inquest at first failed to bring the solution of the 
mystery to light, and there was much speculation and many differ- 
ent theories promulgated". 



The inquest having adjourned for that purpose, Officer Ben- 
thusen visited Elgin with the bank book above mentioned. On 
presenting it at the City Bank, it was identified as belonging to 
William Frost, a citizen of Elgin who had an account at the bank. 

It was ascertained that on the day of the murder Frost had left 
Elgin for Algonquin, on the morning train, in company with John 
Stewart, a boy nineteen years of age, whose home was less than 
a mile from the burned stack. On the Tuesday following the 
inquest (which began on Saturday) the officer arrested young Stew- 
art at his father's house. He confessed his guilt, produced the 
watch and pocket-book of the murdered man, and showed the pis- 
tol with which he had fired the fatal shot. Stewart was taken 
before Esquire Butler, ofNunda, who ordered him committed to 
jail to await the action of the grand jury. 

The Sentinel says editorially: " We visited the prisoner in his 
cell Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. He says he went 
to Elgin the morning of the murder; met Frost during the day in 
a saloon; and that when he came to the depot to return home, he 
found Frost there, who came with him to Algonquin. They left 
the train together and walked along the track to where it crosses 
the wagon road, then followed that until crossing the Crystal Lake 
outlet, when, leaving the road, they started through the woods 
for his father's house, that being nearer than to follow the 
highway. Instead of going direct to the house, they kept to 
the right until nearly opposite the stack, when they turned and 
went to it; that they lay down near the stack; that after a 
shori time, he rose up, shot his companion, took what he had 
on his person and went home; that he did not fire the stack; 
that Frost was smoking a cigar at the time, and he supposes the 
stack was set on fire by it. The revolver he says he borrowed 
from Frost before he left the wagon road, but he gives no reason 
why he committed the crime. He claims that both had been drink- 
ing freely, and that his victim had a bottle of whisky on his per- 
son when he left him after the murder; but this must be a mistake, 
as no such thing was found near the body. 

"The prisoner is only nineteen years of age, and that he com- 
mitted this cold-blooded murder seems to be almost incredible — 
although he insists that he did. That he had an accomplice admits 
of little doubt in the minds of those who have conversed with him 
upon the subject. He assigns no motive for the crime, but the 
natural conclusion is that the object was money." 



** <* •- -~— — 9 > 

^m " — TTTT^^^~~ ~~" — ■ — K-d 


Stewart was tried in Boone County in February, 1880, plead 
guilty, and was sentenced to the penitentiary for life. 

It appears that Stewart and Frost had been acquainted for some 
time, having worked together as farm-hands for John Campbell, 
who lived three miles north of Dundee. "While there "Stewart 
learned Frost had money by Campbell borrowing of him. Stewart 
was not aware of Frost's having made a deposit in Elgin, but sup- 
posed he still had his money with him, he having finished his 
work for Campbell a short time before. Finding Frost at Elgin 
he induced him to return with him to husk corn. He bought a 
revolver on the day of his visit to Elgin, and seems to have delib- 
erately planned the murder. He had no accomplice. Frost was a 
stranger, having come to the State from Michigan only two months 
before. The father of young Stewart was a respectable farmer of 
some property, nearly all of which he spent in a vain attempt to 
clear his son from the foul stain of murder. 


On Monday, Aug. 4, 1862, a tornado, which was very destruc 
tive to life and property, passed through the Southwestern parto 
the county. The storm began at three o'clock p. m., with sheets 
of rain, heavy thunder and very sharp lightning. A.t the Deitz 
school-house in Seneca, school was in session, and about eighteen 
scholars and the teacher, Mary E. Goodrich, were present. The 
house, standing directly in the track of the storm, was taken from 
its foundation and carried several feet, turned half around and 
torn to pieces, leaving only the front end of the building standing. 
Strange to say, no one of the scholars was seriously injured, 
though all were badly frightened. 

Fences, buildings, stacks and bundles of grain — everything that 
stood in the way of the gale — was madly seized and torn to pieces. 
The house of John E. Green, in Marengo, was blown down. Mr. 
Green's mother, wife and daughter were in it at the time. The 
old lady was so badly injured that she died the next day, and the 
wife and daughter were seriously hurt. Robert Smith's son John, 
aged about fifteen years, took shelter in a shock of wheat in the 
harvest field. He was struck in the side by a board blown from 
some neighboring structure and so much injured that he died 
within an hour. The wife of G. H. Sumner, a tailor, was found 
among the ruins of the barn, with her neck broken. Edwin 



Morris was so badly wounded that he died soon after. The storm 
destroyed fully $30,000 worth of property in the county. 


Friday, May 18, 1883, the towns of Chemung and Alden, in 
this county, were visited by one of the most terrible storms ever 
witnessed in this region. Three lives were lost, several persons 
injured and immense damage caused to property all along the 
track of the storm. Its course was from southeast to northwest 
and every building in its way was swept out of existence. 
Near Chemung Village the farm buildings of Henry Baker, oc- 
cupied by George Conn, were utterly demolished. Seven persons 
were in the house at the time. They fled to the cellar for protec- 
tion. Patrick Corrigan, a hired man, was killed, and Mr. Conn 
injured by falling timber. Just across the way the buildings of 
Mr. Downs were also destroyed, the owner rendered unconscious, 
and several members of the family injured. A neighbor of 
Downs, Mr. R: J. Williams, lost his barn and a portion of his 
house. Owen McGee's buildings were destroyed and large oak- 
trees uprooted. 

At Lawrence, the depot and other buildings were damaged. 
Patrick Kennedy lost all his buildings, and his hired man, John 
McGuirk, was killed. J. W. Sogers, across the road, lost all his 
buildings except the house, together with horses, sheep, fences, 
carriages and farming implements. There was still further dam- 
age in other parts of the township. 

In Alden, the barns of James Yick and Mr. Campbell were 
destroyed, the residence of Fred Bombard damaged and his out- 
buildings destroyed. Concerning the remainder of the terrible 
work of the storm, we copy the account of the Sentinel's Alden 

" A few minutes after six o'clock the storm struck the residence 
of Fred Bottlemy. The family consisted of himself, his wife and 
four small children and one hired man. Mr. Bottlemy says they 
did not even have time to descend to the cellar; he reached for 
two of the 'children to take them below, and the next he remem- 
bers anything about, he was lying out upon the ground. The build- 
ing was strewn to the four winds, the house in atoms, not one 
stick left upon another, even the stones composing the foundation 
were scattered for rods around. The scene beggars description. 
Parts of bedding and other clothing were found in the tops of tall 



trees a quarter of a mile away. Huge oaks were torn up by the 
roots and carried along for rods to be lodged against those that 
were standing. Scattered around the house were the family. 
The hired man, a German named Soule, about thirty-two years of 
age, was found dead in front of the house; he seems to have been 
killed by being thrown violently against some sharp pointed grubs 
that were sticking out of the ground at that spot. His skull was 
pierced in several places; the body was removed to the residence 
of Casper Bottlemy, about a mile away. 

" Mr. Bottlemy was seriously injured across the lungs aud 
bruised about the head. Their small children were unhurt. 
Mrs. Bottlemy was found with her back firmly planted against a 
tree, her left arm broken below the elbow, her right arm dis- 
located at the shoulder. Her case is critical. The oldest child, a 
girl twelve years" of age, was badly bruised about the head and 
shoulder. She will probably recover. They were all taken to 
the residence of Mr. Fred Bombard where they were kindly 
cared for. Dr. Barringer, of Alden, was sent for as soon as possible 
and was first upon the scene, arriving about 6:30 p. m. Dr. Brig- 
ham arrived abou,t midnight. The sufferers were properly cared 
for, and are as comfortable as could be expected. An inquest was 
held on Saturday on the body of the hired man, and a verdict ren- 
dered in accordance with the above facts. Mr. Bottlemy's sheds 
and barns were leveled to the earth, one horse being killed. The 
next building struck was the school-house, a substantial frame 
building; it was actually swept from existence, not a vestige re- 
maining. The storm happily occurred two hours after school 
closed for the day, or the consequences would have been terrible. 

" A few rods east is the residence of C. L. Kingsley, a large 
square house with cupola. The whole roof was torn off and 
carried away. The barn, over sixty feet long, in which twenty-dve 
cattle were standing, was flattened to the earth; the fragments 
were strewn for a mile around. There were also three persons in 
the barn at the time it was struck, none of whom were seriously 
injured. That they escaped unhurt seems almost incredible. A 
cow and a horse were killed, and one double buggy and one single 
carriage are missing entirely. The next place visited was that of 
Fred Mode, a quarter of a mile further on. The barns were all 
destroyed; the houses were saved, although the porch was torn off. 
Still further east, the barn belonging to Mrs. M. A. Weter was 


-=———— — z*[^ 


destroyed. The storm was very severe further along toward the 
East and much damage was done. 

"From Alden, the cyclone passed over the line into Wisconsin, 
and just north of Hebron station, destroyed Levi Nichols's house, 
barn, etc., and killed his hired man. His father's barn was also 
wrecked. At Racine, eight persons were killed, a large number 
injured, and 150 buildings destroyed." 


The political campaign of 1856 won McHenry County from the 
Democrats and a rousing majority was given for Fremont. The 
Demoorats on receipt of the news of Buchanan's election decided 
to have a celebration, and brought out the old " Woodstock can- 
non," which figured very prominently in many a political celebra- 
tion in the olden time. By some mismanagement the cannon 
was prematurely discharged and Orson Bates was so badly injured 
as to require the amputation of the right arm above the elbow, and 
the left hand above the wrist. He was in the act of ramming down 
the charge and received it full in his arm and hand. 

A snow storm early in December, 1856, blocked up roads and 
railroads so effectually that travel by any method was impossible 
for several days. On the railroad running through Woodstock 
several trains were snowed in on the track remote from any 

On Sunday, Aug. 28, 1859, James Ashe, a prisoner confined on 
the charge of ill-treating his wife, was found hanging in his cell 
in the county jail. He was a native of Ireland, about thirty-five 
years old, and had been a resident of Hartland for some time. On 
a scrap of newspaper, pinned to the floor with his knife, he left 
the following somewhat remarkable communication: 

"A Declaration. — I do confess I never abused this Woman no 
Harder then woss nessarey to correct a seven years old child that 
would Be Disobedient to his parents but when I see a woman 
taking an oath before God and man all In a treacherous lie, It 
makes the hare of my hed Stand on an End. The world is so 
wicked In the form of law that Every boddy when they get an 
opertunity will Turn round and persecute There Nighest benefac- 
tor. I declare this to be the truth. Jas. Ashe. 

" Here I die brave Strong and Honest. 

"You folse creature how will go before the people you can get 
plenty law but Verry Justice from — that cheated half the county. 

■? r, 



"Here goes James Ashe that never Told a lie. 

" Berry me wherEver as you please for I am libertine of no re- 

"Let Barny McGuire have my Coat and boots and John Sulli- 
van Blacksmith Get ten dollors from Squire Thompson and Give 
Jim Slavin one Djllor use the other nine dollors as you please — I 
cant stand Swindling under the Cloak of Law." 

Oct. 22, 1859, William Dalzell, while bricking up a well thirty 
feet deep on a farm about one and a half miles northeast of Mc- 
Henry, was buried alive by the earth caving in upon him, covering 
him eighteen feet deep. When his body was recovered his head 
and face were terribly mangled, indicating that he had been almost 
instantly killed. 

In the spring of 1859 a young man named Deming, son of 
Jedediah Deming, of Harvard, started for Pike's Peak in company 
with others. When near there he became sick and was almost 
overcome by his hardships. He decided to turn back; but being 
joined on the Missouri River by his brother, John concluded to 
start for California. He was sick all along the route, but re- 
covered in a measure after reaching his destination. 

On the 20th of January, 1860, he went out hunting, and not re- 
turning when expected, his brother went to search for him. Seeing 
tracks of Indians he at once concluded that John had been foully 
dealt with, and went to the neighboring miners for aid. The body 
was found, shot through the head. While the brother of the 
murdered man was absent from his cabin, the Indians raided it, 
carrying off whatever they fancied. They were not pursued. 

A man named Babcock was drowned in the Nippersink, near 
Spring Grove, while fishing with a seine, May 19, 1860. He was 
about thirty-five years of age and had recently come to this county 
from the East. 

A. C. Wilson, aged about twenty years, was killed at Harvard, 
July 20, 1860, while attending to. his duties as a railroad employe, 
in trying to get cars that had run off back upon the track. 

In July, 1861, a young farmer named Andrew Austin, of Green- 
wood, was killed by being thrown from a horse. 

At Harvard, June 6, 1862, a man named Cutter, a railroad em- 
ploye, was killed by the cars. 

March 17, 1862, Solomon West, in Seneca, committed suicide 
with poison. He was comparatively a stranger in the community. 

Monday, May 5, 1862, John E. Burr, of Greenwood, met his 

i- jj K ' ' -■ """ : """ ~ ~ . . ~;r „"r ~ " ~ ' v \ 

*T « "■* -• 8 V 



death by accidentally falling into a well. He was about twenty- 
three years old. 

Amasa Clapp, a conductor on a freight train, was killed near 
Woodstock in November, 1863, falling between the cars while 
walking over them. 

In December, 1863, only a few days later, Eben Lord, of Janes- 
ville, Wis., a brakeman on a freight train, was killed at Woodstock 
in a similar manner. 

In October, 1863, at Woodstock, Mrs. Bridget Lee was killed 
while attempting to cross the railroad in front of a freight train. 

A few days later a brakeman named George Batie was killed in 
a collision at Bidgefield. 

Adam Schneider, of Greenwood, was killed Oct. 20, 1863, while 
at work in the field. His horses became frightened and ran over 
him. He was forty-seven years old and a very worthy citizen. 

April 18, 1863, Augustus Clark, of Franklinville, in the town of 
Seneca, committed suicide by hanging. Mental aberration 
brought on by business trouble was supposed to have been the cause. 

John Steffer, working near Bingwood, April 24, 1863, ate wild 
parsnips, being ignorant of their poisonous qualities, and was 
killed by them. 

In January, 1864, Charles Jacobs, son of Norman Jacobs, was 
found dead in the road near Woodstock. He had poisoned him- 
self with strychnine. 

In February, 1864, a brakeman named Archibald Berryman 
was killed on a freight train as he was approaching Woodstock 
from the north. 

In March, 1864, Willard Joslyn, a nephew of Orson Diggins, 
was killed on the farm of the latter near Harvard, while trying 
to turn a somersault over a pole. 

W. Vinton, a farmer whose home was near Huntley, drowned 
himself in the Kishwaukee, Oct. 6, 1865. 

In April, 1865, as citizens of Marengo were celebrating the fall 
of Kichrhond, an anvil which they were fixing exploded, and a 
large piece struck H. G. Otis, wko died two hours later. Others 
were injured but not fatally. 

June 16, 1865, John Dolan, of Woodstock, about nineteen years 
old, was shot and killed while trying to enter the house of But- 
ledge Harris near Crystal Lake. He with a companion, both in- 
toxicated, went to Harris's house to see a girl and were denied ad- 
mission. While trying to force an entrance Dolan was killed. 


=^ t=±\j » 


In June, 1865, during a picnic excursion, two .young ladies,. 
Addie Deitz and Lucy Adams, both members of prominent fami- 
lies, were drowned in Crystal Lake while boating. 

In February, 1866, A. E. Lyke, of Hebron, accidentally shot 
himself fatally while pulling a loaded gun toward him. He was 
twenty-six years old. 

In August, 1867, Michael Dwyer, of Woodstock, aged seven- 
teen, was accidentally drowned while bathing in Crystal Lake. 
The next day efforts were made to recover the body, and among 
other means employed the cannon belonging at Woodstock was 
taken to the lake and fired. The second time the piece was dis- 
charged it exploded, injuring J. Dwyer, the father of the drowned 
boy, so that it was feared he could not live, and wounding two 
other persons in a less degree. 

On the 9th of July, 1867, Archibald G. Filkins, of Harvard, a 
lad nine years of age, was thrown from a freight car on which he 
was riding and received injuries which rendered the amputation of 
his leg necessary. He survived the operation only a few hours. 

In May, 1868, a boy named Ira Clason, eighteen years of age, 
was killed by a flash of lightning while plowing on a farm six 
miles south of Marengo. The pair of horses which he drove were 
killed at the same time. 

June 17, 1868, Archie "Van Vleet, ten years of age, son of Na- 
than Van Vleet, in Harmony, committed suicide by hanging him- 
self with a rope in his father's barn. 

Henry Jackson, twenty-three years of age, was drowned in 
Crystal Lake while fishing, Aug. 15, 1869. 

In August, 1869, the body of a man was discovered in the 
river below the railroad bridge at Cary Station. Papers on the 
person proved that the deceased was T. H. Bennett, a railroad 
employe, of Janesville. It was known that he was on a train 
passing the spot where the body was found, a few days before, 
but whether he jumped from the train to commit suicide or fell 
from it accidentally can only be surmised. 

T. J. Hobart was instantly killed Oct. 8, 186^, by the wall fall- 
ing in upon him as he was digging a cellar under a building. 
This occurred about six miles from Woodstock, on the McHenry 

In October, 1869, a little girl, four years of age, daughter of 
Patrick Crowley, of Marengo, was so badly burned by her clothes 
taking fire that she died ten days afterward. 

J^nAy ^Jlu^ 



jlciJiaA-S dtJleX-- 



Jan. 17, 1870, Henry Yanute, brakeman, was killed by the 
cars at Woodstock. 

In August, 1870, Bela Darrell, at Woodstock, while moving a 
building, was accidentally caught by falling timber and strangled. 

Aug. 30, 1870, Captain Alexander Smith, of Union, fifty-five 
years of age, committed suicide by hanging. 

March 23, 1871, Jeremiah Halesey was killed near Harvard by a 
railroad train. He was riding a horse and had crossed the track, 
when the horse, becoming frightened at the cars, was rendered 
unmanageable, ran back and threw him off in front of the train. 

In August, 1871, Mrs. John Oakley, living three miles north 
of Marengo Village, committed suicide by hanging. 

In December, 1871, the wife of Alexander Martin, living a short 
distance north of Woodstock, was so severely injured by being 
thrown from a wagon by a runaway team that she died in a few 

Jan. 10, 1873, a boiler in a steam flouring mill at Huntley 
exploded, killing Wm. L. Benedict, the engineer, and seriously 
injuring Philip Shaft ner, the owner of the mill. 

Aug. 25, 1873, the remains of Patrick Quinn were found 
on the railroad track near Woodstock. He had been killed by 
the cars. 

Aug. 29, 1873, Watson Heath, of Dunham, had both legs and an 
arm cut off by a mowing machine, and died soon after. He was 
sixty-four years old, had long resided in the county and was a very 
worthy citizen. 

George B. Jackson, nearly seventy years of age, was killed by a 
railroad train near Harvard, Feb. 12, 1872, while walking upon 
the track. _ 

Dec. 7, 1872, Jacob Hurst, night watchman at the Woodstock 
brewery, was killed in a singular manner. A bin of malt above 
him broke through the floor, and he was buried and smothered. 

In the same month the body of Buenas Pease, of Marengo, was 
found floating in the Chicago River with a bottle of laudanum in 
the pocket. 

In March, 1 874, George McNally, of Harvard, a brakeman, was 
killed about eleven miles from Chicago, by falling from a train. 

Miss Dema Miller, thirty-three years of age, committed suicide 
by drowning herself in a cistern, April 2, 1874. 

Monday, June 9, 1874, a very severe storm caused heavy damage 
in this county and elsewhere. Trees, houses, barns, fences suffered 




severely. The damage was especially great at Harvard, McHenry, 
Union and Eichmond. At Harvard the new engine house of the 
Chicago & Northwestern Eailway was destroyed and much property 

Aug. 24, 1874, a little ten-months-old child of fm. H. Howe, 
was drowned near Harvard by falling head first into a pail of milk. 
John Hallasy, of Hartland, died in October, 1874, from injuries 
received through being thrown from a wagon. 

On the 12th of October, 1874, a ten-year-old son of Isaac Mussey, 
of Seneca, went to the pasture to catch a horse. While returning 
home his hands became cold, and that he might put them in his 
pocket he tied the rope, by which he was leading the horse, around 
his body. The horse taking fright, the boy was dragged upon the 
earth and killed. 

Dec. 15, 1874, on the farm of J. E. Nourse, two miles west of 
McHenry, fm. Grant, twenty-four years of age, was buried in a 
well sixty feet deep. Eleven feet of earth caved in from the top 
and fell upon him. It required the labor of two men for nearly a 
day to extricate the body. 

A Norwegian, name unknown, was killed near Ridgefield, in 
August, 1875, by carelessly discharging a pistol which he was 

Oct. 30, 1875, about two miles from "Woodstock, on the Austin 
Frame farm, George Schneider was struck by lightning and killed 
instantly. He and his wife were in the cellar sorting potatoes at 
the time. His wife escaped uninjured. 

Nov. 5, 1875, N. T. Bryan, a well-to-do farmer near Wood- 
stock, was killed by a kick from a colt. 

In March, 1876, a man named Sweet, at Harvard, while sawing 
wood with a horse-power, was caught by the coat in the machin- 
ery and killed by being drawn upon the saw. 


On Thursday, Feb. 5, 1874, there was a railroad accident near 
Kishwaukee, six miles north of Woodstock, by which a large 
number of persons were. injured. The train was the Green Bay 
express, going south, and due at Woodstock at 4:33 a. m. The 
accident happened at the creek, which was crossed by a trestle- 
bridge 120 feet long and thirty-five feet high, flanked at either end 
by an embankment which extends about a half mile in each direc- 
tion. The road-bed presented a steep incline toward the bridge, 

v-- " — ^=r 


so that a train from either direction must run over the downhill 
side rapidly in order to gain sufficient momentum to make the 
ascent on the up-hill side. On the morning in question the train 
was a little behind time, and came down the grade at a high rate 
of speed. 

The train consisted of two express cars, a baggage car, two 
passenger cars, a Pullman sleeping car and a caboose. About 
thirty rods from the trestle bridge the heavy wheels of the 
locomotive forced the top from a rail, cutting it smooth. The 
locomotive and two express cars passed over the break safely, 
but the five cars following jumped the track, and ten rods further 
on four of the detached cars took the plunge down the embank- 
ment twenty-five feet or more. The baggage car passed some 
distance further before it was thrown down the embankment. 
The sleeping car, passenger cars and baggage car turned entirely 
over, and the caboose was evidently lifted bodily from the track 
and deposited right side up about sixty feet away. The passen- 
gers, thus suddenly awakened, were stricken with terror, and to 
add another horrible feature to the situation, the cars took fire 
from the overturned stoves and soon the whole wreck was in a 
blaze. The passengers and train men went coolly and system- 
atically to work and not only rescued all the passengers, but 
saved all the loose personal property and baggage that could be 
found. About forty persons were hurt, eight seriously, but none 

On September 7 and 8, 1875, Northern Illinois and South- 
ern Wisconsin were visited by a very heavy rain storm which 
caused immense damage to fields, roads, crops and buildings. 
Three frightful railroad accidents occurred on account of the storm, 
two of them in McHenry County. The first of the accidents was 
at Lawrence, McHenry County, where the Green Bay express 
broke through a bridge, completely wrecking locomotive, bag- 
gage, express and smoking cars and piling them one upon 
another. Four persons were killed: The engineer, Henry Morris; 
the baggage man, James Furey; a passenger, W. J. Grouse, and 
Frank Carr, the newsboy. A number were injured. 

The second accident happened at Shopier, near Janesville, where 
a freight train was wrecked and the engineer and fireman killed. 
The cause was a culvert, washed out by the rain. 

The third accident occurred on the Kenosha division of the 
Chicago & Northwestern, two miles east of Harvard. A freight 



train was wrecked in a washed out culvert and J. Henich, brake- 
man, instantly killed. 


Herman Rammerstabt, a German in the employ of Wm. Groes- 
beck, of Alden, while at work in the field May 19, 1876, took refuge 
tinder a tree during a thunder shower, and was struck by 
lightning and instantly killed. 

Sept. 24, 1876, a little son of 0. O. Parsons was injured by a 
horse in the barn and found insensible. He died the next day. 

Kate Kashion, an old lady who lived near Mc Henry, was 
burned to death Nov. 17, 1876. It is supposed that she lay down 
near the stove and that her clothes caught fire while she was asleep. 

From the Woodstock Sentinel, Jan. 18, 1877: 

" Frozen to Death. — On last Sabbath afternoon the lifeless form 
of John Burk, of the town of Greenwood, was found in the town- 
ship of McHenry. near the old residence of Hon. H. McLean. 
The circumstances connected with this sad affair are substantially 
as follows: Mr. Burk left his house on Friday morning for Mc- 
Henry with a load of oats, and not returning that night, his 
mother, who lived with him, notified his brothers of the fact on 
Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning they started out to find 
what had become of him. They went directly to McHenry and 
were informed that John was there on Friday afternoon and left for 
home in the evening. They also learned that there was a sleigh, 
from which the horses were detached, near the railroad track north 
of the village. On examination, it was soan found that on leaving 
McHenry Mr. Burk took the railroad track instead of the wagon 
road driving over cattle-guards, etc., uutil he came to the outlet of 
McCollum's Lake; and at this point it seems the horses refused 
to cross the bridge, left the track and undertook to cross the 
stream on the ice, but it gave way precipitating horses and sleigh 
into the water. It appears that Mr. Burk left the sleigh and suc- 
ceeded in detaching the horses therefrom, removed the fence and 
started to cross the slough, but ran into a soft place or spring 
and here the horses left him, he traveling in one direction and 
they in another. Mr. Burk went but a short distance from where 
the horses left him, took shelter under some bushes on the shore 
of the lake, where he was found by his brothers, frozen to death. 
His clothes were wet nearly to his waist, which proves he had 

— a 



been in the water. John has been in the habit of indulging 
too freely in strong drink for several years, and there is no 
doubt but what this was the case on Friday night causing him to 
lose his way and bringing him to this untimely death." 

In May, 1877, a boy named Phineas Andrews was killed at 
Woodstock while trying to climb upon a moving freight train. 

In June, 1877, a German named Jacob Haag fell from a train 
at Ridgefield and was killed. 

Robert Bendt, eight years of age, son of Charles Bendt of 
Harvard, was killed while riding on a switch engine at Harvard 
in October, 1877. 

Dec. 1, 1877, John Keating, of Hartland, was severely injured 
by being thrown from his wagon in a collision with another team; 
he died on the next day. He was sixty-three years old. 

March 7, 1878, the body of Miss Ella Shultz, a j'oung lady who 
had been living in the family of Mr. Buell, of Hebron, was found 
near the railroad track in a small pond, about a mile from Cale- 
donia, Boone County. She left her home iu Hebron on the 17th 
of January, without notice to the family, and nothing further 
was heard of her until the discovery of her body was made. 

In August, 1878, a German named Christian Beir, living about 
six miles we6t of Huntley, was standing on the top of a threshing 
machine and slipped down into the cylinder while it was in full 
motion. His body was horribly mangled, and mutilated in a man- ' 
ner too shocking to describe. He lived an hour 1 ater and was 
fully conscious until he died. 

In December, 1878, James McMahon, saloon-keeper, formerly 
a resident of Woosdtock, was killed in Chicago, by John C. Hay- 
ward, a student in the Chicago Medical College. The crime grew 
out of a quarrel over cards. 

In December, 1878, Chris. Buck, express agent, was injured by 
the cars at Nunda so badly as to render the amputation of his right 
leg necessary. 

Hiram Curtis, freight brakeman, was knocked off the cars near 
Cary, in March, 1879, and received injuries which required the 
amputation of a leg. He died soon after the operation. His home 
wa3 in Janesville. 

Philip Newmeyer, station agent at Harvard, lost a leg by the 
cars running over it, April 4, 1879, while he was assisting in mak- 
ing up a train. He died from the effects of his injuries. 

> ^^— "• — : ——— rr=rr= ^~zf\^ 


April 7, 1879, Loren Turk, of Capron, was run over and killed 
by a train near Chemung, while walking on the track. It is sup- 
posed that he was intoxicated. 

In June, 1879, Mrs. James Jackman, residing near Crystal Lake, 
committed suicide by taking laudanum. 

Oct. 24, 1879, a serious accident occurred at the sugar refinery 
at Nunda. A machine exploded, injuring Lorenzo "Wilcox fatally 
and George Numson seriously. 

Fred G. Davis, whose parents resided near Harvard, was injured 
by a railroad train at that place in September, , 1879, and died in 
February following. 

In March, 1880, George T. Shimmin, of Turner Junction, brake- 
man, was knocked from the cars by a bridge at Richmond, and 
seriously injured. He died not long afterward. 

James Bagley, a former resident of Woodstock, was killed by 
the cars in Dakota in the summer of 1880. 

Oct. 21, 1880, Smith Nolan, of Marengo, while crossing the rail- 
road track with a team was thrown beneath the wheels of the cars 
by the engine striking his team and his right foot crushed in a 
terrible manner. 

Oct. 26, 1880, Fred Arnold, Jr., of Woodstock, was shot in the 
right arm by the accidental discharge of a gun which he was hand- 
ling. The limb had to be amputated. 

Oct. 31, 1880, Ezra Cross, seven years of age, was shot and 
instantly killed by a young man named Williams, who was playing 
with a revolver. The boy was a son of Welch Cross, living two 
and one-halt miles south of Harvard. 

Nov. 15, 18S0, Frank Shepard, of Buffalo, N. Y., was run over 
and killed by the cars near Richmond. 

The dead body of a young man, a stranger, name unknown, was 
found in a wood-house near Johnsburg, Nov. 18, 1880. 

Feb. 10, 1881, two children of Leonard Bautes, whose ages.were 
seven and nine years respectively, were burned to death in the 
house of their grandfather, M. Wagner, north of Johnsburg. The 
cries of the children alarmed the household, who discovered the 
house on fire. The roof fell in before the little ones could be 

Feb. 23, 1881, Wesley Houdeshell, of Seneca, shot himself 
through the head and died almost instantly. 



Feb. 24, 1881, an imbecile cbild of John and Mary Kiltz, of 
Seneca, was burned to death in the building in which it was kept. 

In February, 1881, George Goodhand, of Richmond, a young 
man twenty-five years of age, shot himself fatally during a fit of 
mental aberration. 

April 30, 1881, Willis E. Bourne, of Woodstock, was killed by 
a freight train on the Kenosha division of the 0. & N. W. Rail- 
road while attending to his duty as brakeman. 

The body of Wm. Stewart, of Algonquin, was found on the bank 
of the river below that place May 11, 1881. He was a Scotchman, 
thirty-nine years of age, and had been missing for two weeks. A 
heavy iiood had washed away the railroad bridge, and it is sup- 
posed he fell into the river at night, while walking upon the rail- 
road track, and was drowned. 

May 29, 1881, Frank Holmes, of Oshkosh, Wis., fell from a 
freight train between Woodstock and Harvard and was killed. 

June 2, 1881, a harness-maker named Moore, at Algonquin, com- 
mitted suicide by taking laudanum. He came from Dundee to 
Algonquin, and had resided but a short time at the latter place. 

Edward Hughes, of Nunda, brakeman, was killed by the cars at 
Waukegan, July 22, 1881. He was in his twenty-second year, and 
much respected. 

By a railroad accident two and one-half miles north of Wood- 
stock, July 25, 1881, fifteen freight cars were thrown from the 
track. A man named Frank Wilson, who was stealing a ride on 
the freight train, was found buried beneath the wreck, dead. 

Sept. 23, 1881, Charles Zimmerman and his son were killed near 
Crystal Lake station white attempting to cross the railroad track 
in front of an engine. 

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, 1882, Elias C. Buck, about twelve years 
old, son of Isaac Buck, of Riley, was accidentally killed by the 
discharge of a gun which he was drawing toward him. 

Aug. 7, 1882, John L. Brickley, of Dunham, was instantly killed 
by lightning while on the road to Harvard. 

Aug. 12, 1882, two German boys who were stealing their way 
and walking from Minnesota, whither they had been sent by the 
Children's Aid Society, back to New York, stopped to rest near 
Ridgefield. One of them went to sleep upon the railroad track 
and was killed by a passing train. 


Oct. 13, 1882, Frank Gallagher, eon of James Gallagher, of 
Woodstock, fell from a freight train and was killed. He was terri- 
bly mangled, and the head severed from the body. This accident 
should serve as a warning to boys who have a propensity to jump 
on the cars when they have no business there. 

Jan. 5, 1882, a man named Forth, of Greenwood, committed 
suicide by hanging. 

April 29, 1883, a brakeman named Thomas Gorman was killed 
by the cars at Crystal Lake station. 

At Algonquin, July 6, 1883, a small boy named Wm. Albright 
fell from the dam while fishing, and was drowned. , 

7« — - " — ^=5^ 




It would be hardly fitting to close this work without referring 
to the above subject, for, out of the 384,400 acres of land compris- 
ing McHenry County, nine per cent., or 34,956 acres, are wetland 
and totally unfit for cultivation, as shown by the report of the Secre- 
tary of the State Board of Agriculture. On this land the farmers 
of this county are paying taxes and yet receive from it no income, 
while the wet spots stand, a menace to the health of the family 
and a blotch on the appearance of the farm. 

Owners of land in other sections of the country have discovered 
that this can all be remedied, and unnumbered instances elsewhere 
show beyond all question that these lands are the most productive 
and richest, as well as surest to depend on, of any lands found. 
Experience has demonstrated that when men once see the effects 
accomplished by thorough drainage they never hesitate about im- 
proving their lands at once — that all that is needed is for them to 
post themselves, which they can do in a measure from such articles 
as we offer here, but more especially from actual observation of the 
work itself. That this is true is shown by the fact that there was 
made and used in the State of Illinois in the year 1878 seventy-six 
per cent, more drain tile than in the year 1877, and 430 per cent, more 
than in the year 1876, while in the year 1884 their number was 
more than 700 per cent, greater than in 1878, and nearly 4,000 per 
cent, greater than in 1876, and yet they are all used and have be- 
gun and are continuing their work of redeeming thousands of acres 
of land — making it healthy and productive. There are places scat- 
tered about in McHenry, Lake and adjoining counties where the 
results of their use may be seen. The writer had shown him, ad- 
joining Crystal Lake, on the extensive farm of C. S. Dole, Esq., 
a large tract of beautiful land, as productive as a garden, upon 
which his informant assured him that he himself had a few years 
since speared fish. 


7 <S »- ~"" 5> \ 



Another instance is on the farm of Geo. S. Young, Esq., near 
Harvard, where a pond in which there were fish was drained in 
1883 and a fine crop of corn was raised thereon in 1884, despite 
the idea of many that the soil would be too light to raise anything 
if it were drained. Other instances might be mentioned but you 
have doubtlessly noted some in your neighborhood. 

Now why is this so essential? and why should the placing of a 
tile drain add to the value of land? "Without water no plant life 
will flourish, but another thing is as certain — an excess of water is 
injurious if not fatal to any crop. In any soil except gravelly sub- 
soil (which often has natural drainage) there is a line of saturation, 
probably a few inches below the surface, the soil above which is 
partially drained. That is porous and has air interposed be- 
tween the particles of moist dirt. This is the soil that grows 
whatever crop is raised, for the plant roots must have soil in which 
to grow, when they have both air and water, and they will stop 
short and will not penetrate the soil below this line of saturation. 
Again, from this soil the only way in which water is removed, in 
many instances, is by evaporation, which requires the same amount 
of heat that is required to "boil away" a like amount of water 
on a stove, all of which heat is carried away from the soil by this 
process of evaporation and the soil left cold and sour. Again the 
rain in falling on such soil usually encounters a hard, dry crust 
which is the result of the last shower and which is almost abso- 
lutely impervious to water, and upon striking this the water is 
held back and carried off on the surface seeking some lower 
ground and carrying with it all its treasure of gases taken from 
the air as well as all the washings from the surface of the soil 
comprising its richest parts. You have noticed after a shower 
how the air was cleared and purified by the rain drops falling 
through it, and those same elements, taken from the air by the 
rain, are among the best stimulants and foods for plant life; and if 
the ground be provided with underground drains, the drops of the 
rain-fall percolate through the soil and, leaving in the soil all 
these gases and plant foods, the water issues from the drain as 
crystal spring water, pure and cool, having given off not only 
its nutriments but its heat also to the soil. Then in a well 
drained soil the line of saturation is lowered, the water gradually 
works down to the line of the drain, and the result is that there is 
a growing soil of from two to three feet into which the roots of 
the growing crops will extend and from which they will draw 




their treasures. The drops of rain are loaded with money, for 
plant food is money, and when it is washed away it is a washing 
away of money in reality, and when it is left in the soil it is 
money there to be gathered through the roots of the growing 
crops. Again, the water line being lowered, air is admitted. 
Yon know there is a terrific pressure to the envelope of air that 
surrounds the earth; you know how hard it is to produce a vac- 
uum, to keep out this air, and you know, when you stop to 
think, that this force of atmospheric pressure will drive the 
particles of air clear down to the water line. And how is this in 
a dry time? The surface of the soil is left mellow by the showers, 
where the water is drawn off from below, and there is an entire 
absence of the dry crust, broken only by cracks, which is so com- 
monly seen on an undrained soil in a dry time. The water is 
brought up from below by capillary attraction and air is carried 
through it, and air that is loaded with moisture, and "dew" is de- 
posited through the soil as well as on the surface. 

Good common sense is at the back of all practical drainage 
and if you follow that you will not be misled. Almost every 
farm has a wet patch of ten or twenty acres. Examine the nat- 
ural outlet and see if it is not crooked and choked up. Dig it out 
straight and deep, and if it is to be a permanent open drain, don't 
be afraid of making the ditch too wide and the slope of the sides 
gradual. It ought to be about four times as wide as it is deep, 
and the dirt dug out should be thrown well back from the ed^e. 
This will begin the work by taking off the surface water and leave 
the lands in shape to put in the smaller lateral or branch drains. 
Dig your ditches for these, after having decided where you need 
them, and begin if possible at the mouth and work back, digging 
so that the water will all the time run from you. Get the new 
tools and find out the new way of doing it and you will be sur- 
prised to see how little dirt yon remove for laying tile. If you 
have but little fall, then you had better get a surveyor or drain- 
age engineer to take the level, or get an instrument and take 
it yourself, or make one with a plumb line or level. If you are 
new to the business talk it over with some neighbor who has 
studied into it and put in tile. Eead all you can get about it 
and if you can't get information from any other source handy, goto 
the nearest tile manufacturer, for it is his business to know and to be 
ready and willing to tell you, and he will both be posted and glad 
to tell you if he amounts to anything and is not behind the times. 




m 5 


Remember to make thorough work of whatever you do put 
in. Don't try to run a drain at one pitch part way and then 
decrease the pitch; when you think of it you will see its fatal 
effect. Increase the fall as you go as much as you will, but 
never decrease it. Don't put in too small tiles. The differ- 
ence in cost is not great, and you may want to add to them in 
the future, and have to dig up and replace at large expense be- ' 
cause the capacity is not great enough. Remember that the 2ar- 
rying capacity increases greatly with the size and is pretty nearly 
as the squares of their diameters, but friction is greater in the 
smaller. One eight inch will carry as much as two of six inch. 
The depth of laying and distances apart are approximately shown 
by the following table from " Haswell:" 


H ft 


Q £ 


— <3 


a s 

a « 


ft in 


ft in 

feet, j 
40 | 
15 » 

Stiff clay 

Get them well down anyway, even if you do not get them so 
near as here stated. Remember that, generally speaking, the 
deeper you place them the wider strip will they drain. Get as , 
good a fall as you can, and not less than one in 500 if you can help 
it. The following table will give you an approximate idea of how 
many tile it will take per acre, laying the tile in rows at the dis- 
tance apart stated: 

15 feet apart 2,940 feet. 

20 " " 2,205 " 

25 " ' 1,760 " 

1,102 feet. 
880 " 
440 " 

270 " 

SO " " 

100 " " 

150 " " 


So much as to the ditching — now as to the tile. The points of 
superiority are that they should be smooth, on the inside anyway; 
straight — not warped in drying or burning; the ends should be at 
right angles to sides so as to fit well against the end of the next tile; 
free from cracks and imperfections; and last, but by no means least, 
of a clay that works to a good body and not in layers, and burns to 
a hardness so that you cannot cut into it with a knife — can barely 
scratch it. On this last point yon must remember you are putting 
your tile in to last all time and you want something that will stand. 



<5 *■ 

"•■ " 1 





A line of tile will carry water from as many acres as the square 
of the diameter of the tile in inches, thus: A two-inch tile will serve 
as a main to carry the water which flows from four acres; a three- 
inch from nine acres, etc. In many instances you can carry off 
the cold water from hill-side springs by tile and thus easily save 
quite a patch of land made wet and cold by the seepage of the 
spring. If the whole length of the ditch is opened, begin laying 
tile at the upper end, the opposite g from where you begin to dig, 
then if you get a shower before you get through your tile are not 
clogged. When you start your drain put a round stone against 
the end to keep out the dirt, and when you stop laying at night, 
put a stone against the end to keep anything from crawling up. 
Be careful to fix a good opening where your tile empties into the 
open ditch, brick it up and make it substantial, and have it above 
the water so it won't fill up, and have it protected so nothing can 
get into it. 

If you order tile shipped the following table will give you the 
number of the different sizes, constituting a car load of ten tons, 
so that the actual car load will be from this amount to double the 
same according to the capacity of the car. 




3 . 



. 4,000 

. 3,000 







Briefly enumerated the benefits of tile drainage are: 

1. It greatly lessens the effect of drought and by condensation 
supplies moisture. 

2. It carries into the soil a larger supply of fertilizing gases, 
such as carbonic acid and ammonia. 

3. It warms the lower portions of the soil. 

4. It lessens the cooling of the soil by evaporation. 

5. It chemically benefits the soil and improves its mechanical 
structure for plant life. 

6. It tends to prevent grass lauds running out. 

7. It deepens the surface soil by lowering the line of saturation . 

8. It renders soils earlier in spring and later in fall. 

9. It prevents the throwing out of grain in winter by frost. 



10. It enables one to work much sooner after a rain. 

11. It prevents land from becoming sour. 

12. It lessens the formation of crusts on the surface of the soil 
after rains. 

13. It prevents the washing off a fertile soil. 
Our Legislature has passed and is now enacting good laws upon 

this subject, not alone as to drainage districts, but to apply to the 
reclaiming of land for agricultural purposes, by draining over the 
land of another, and all this accomplished, too, without expensive or 
vexatious litigation, so that with the laws so framed, if you have 
tile of good quality, manufactured within a reasonable distance, so 
that you will not be eaten up with freight charges, you are in a 
proper condition to wonderfully improve your land and to^ add 
materially to your income. 


Havino- recently had occasion to examine some of the drain tile 
manufactured at the Spring Valley Tile Works, which are located 
between Crystal Lake and McHenry, at the new station of " Terra 
Cotta," on the C. & N. "W. E. R, the writer hereof can but con- 
oratulate the people of the vicinity upon the excellent quality 
of the product sent out from these works. The proprietor, ¥m. 
D. Gates, known in the community from his boyhood, experi- 
mented upon the clay found here for a long time before beginning 
the actual work of putting in machinery, and then, having fully 
satisfied himself on every point, began pushing the work with all 
possible speed. He had become enthusiastic over the clay found 
and carried his enthusiasm into the line of making the works a 
study and a pet, wishing them to be among the very best in the 
land. To this end he has studied other factories and found what 
was best in each, and, profiting by their experience, and by using 
the new and most improved forms, he is able to better handle his 
materials and produce better results than older factories with old- 
fashioned appliances. 

The clay is carried direct from the bank in small dumping cars, 
over a miniature railroad, directly into the factory and dumped 
into a tempering bin by the side of the machinery. Here, after 
being properly tempered, it is shoveled into the crusher, from 
which it falls into the tile machine proper. From this it emerges 
in a steady stream of tile. 



These are cut into lengths and placed upon an elevator running 
to the drying floors above where the tile are set out to dry. 

As they have to stand until dry, a large amount of space is 
needed for this purpose, and large new buildings have been built. 
When dry the tile are wheeled to a kiln, which is a large structure 
of fire brick banded by heavy bands of iron and shaped not un- 
like an old-fashioned bee-hive. Each kiln holds about 10,000 
tile, and as soon as filled is sealed up and the fires started. 
The heat has to be raised very slowly, constant attention being 
requisite, or all will be spoiled. About a week is required to burn 
a kiln and cool off, consuming about nine tons of coal in the oper- 
ation. The heat generated is very intense, fusing iron easily, so 
that all the exposed parts have to be of the very best fire brick. 

The works are provided with a fine fire protection separate and 
entirely distinct from the steam-power. This is a strong rotary 
pump, operated direct from the water-power, and thus always 
ready at a moment's notice, and by means of thorough piping, 
throws three powerful streams of water through lengths of hose 
constantly attached at different parts of the buildings. 

Mr. Gates has manufactured some very fine red and white brick 
and has also made a new departure in building material, having 
made a quantity of square hollow tile for use in building walls of 
houses by means of which the wall has a double air space. He 
has already started a residence for himself at the works out of 
this material which we advise every one to see. 

We confidently predict a good market for his pressed brick in 
Chicago, as well as for his Terra Cotta for ornamenting the exte- 
rior and interior of buildings, for which latter purpose he intends 
to push his works, producing ornaments, mantels, friezes, etc. 

The manufactured products intended for shipment are loaded on 
cars at the factory, by means of a railroad track connecting with 
the railroad proper at the new station "Terra Cotta," about a mile 
from the works. 

While all useless labor has been left out of the work, still great 
care has been exercised that nothing should be done that would in 
any way impair the quality of the goods, as quality is deemed by 
him the first consideration. The texture of the product itself is a 
guarantee of excellence, and we confidently predict that farmers 
layiDg these tile will never be troubled with having to dig up and 
relay their drains on account of defective tile. 



We are glad to see that the proprietor intends manufacturing 
his clays, instead of shipping the crude article, as he has had op- 
portunities for doing, as by this means he is using home labor and 
building on a sure and prosperous foundation. 

The goods manufactured have stood the severest test of frost, 
and we would advise any one intending laying tile especially, to 
thoroughly investigate the product of these works before buying, 
as we are satisfied they will get a very superior quality of product 
and honest and fair treatment as well. 





Origin of Name. — First Settlers. — Settled in 1836. — Location. 
— A Prairie Township. — Nippersink Creek. — First Happen- 
ings. — Cemeteries. — Educational Interests. — Religious Inter- 
ests. — Postoffice. — Dairy Interests. — Township Officers. — 
Alden Village. — Business Men. — Biographical. 


This township was not named for some time after the first set- 
tlers came in. The postoffice was called Wedgwood for a short 
time, when it was discovered that another postoffice by the same 
name was already established in the State. It was then changed 
to Alden by the Wards, Bordwells and Bennetts, who came from 
Alden, N. Y. When the township was christened, some time 
afterward, it received the same name. 


Nathan and Darius Disbrow were the first men who settled in 
this township; they came in the fall of 1836, and erected their 
dwellings the following spring. They settled on section 15, where 
the village of Alden is now situated. They came from New York 
State. Darius made Alden Township his home only about five 
years, when he moved to Milwaukee, where he died in 1849. Na- 
thaniel is still a resident of the township, about three-quarters of 
a mile south of Alden Village. 

Next came into the township Miles Booty, an Englishman, from 
Canada. He located on what is known now as the Capron farm, 
east of Alden Village one and a half miles. He came in the sum- 
mer of 1837, and remained in the township till about the year 
1841, when he moved to Woodstock, where he engaged in business 
a short time, and then moved West. 

The next settler was Asahel Disbrow, who came from Greene 
County, N. Y., with a wife and family of eleven children. At 




present there are four of his 6ons residents of the township, names 
as follows — Nathan, Orin, Sydney and Lucas. Asahel Disbrow 
died in 1854, and his wife in 1859. John Alberty, a son-in-law of 
Asahel Disbrow, came in 1838 from Greene County, N. Y. Den- 
nis Ryder also came from New York State, locating here in 1838. 
James Owen and family came in 1838 and settled in the^ south- 
west corner of township; Zadoc Clark came at the same time — 
both from Vermont. About the same time came H. Bushford, 
Eansom Parish and T. B. Wakeman, all from Greene County, N. Y. 


Alden Township is numbered 46 in range 6. It is one of the 
northern townships, joining the State of Wisconsin on the north. 
Chemung Township lies directly west of it, Hebron joins it on the 
east and Hartland on the north. 


This township is principally prairie, though it is by no means 
destitute of timber. It is well adapted to farming and dairying, 
buth avocations being extensively carried on. 


From a small sheet of water situated in sections 14 and 15, 
called Mud Creek, flows the famous Nippersink Creek. The 
head waters of the Nippersink have three small inlets. la this 
township, on sections 23 and 26, the Kishwaukee Creek also has its 
rise as well as the Piskasaw in the west side of the township. 


The first marriage took place on the 7th day of January, 1839. 
Timothy M. Fuller to Esther Disbrow. They were married by 
"Wesley Diggens, Justice. In 1838 Darius Disbrow, a resident of 
Alden, and Sarah Cross, a resident of Hebron, were united in mar- 
riage in Milwaukee. 

The first white child born in the township, was Lorain 
J., son of Darius Disbrow. When tbis child was small his 
father died, and he went with his mother to New York, her native 
State, and it is not known where he is or whether he is living. 
Twin daughters born to Mr. and Mrs. T. M. Fuller are known to 
be the second birth in the township. 





The first death was that of a child belonging to a family who 
were passing through the country to find a home in the far West. 
The most of the family were sick and stopped a while at the house 
of Asahel Disbrow, where the child died. It was buried in the 
vicinity of Mud Lake. 


There are in the township two cemeteries. The one lying north 
of the village about eighty rods was laid out for burial purposes 
in 1846. Mr. A. Broughton was the first person buried here. The 
grounds contain about two acres, and are kept in fine condition. 
About the year 1847 a grave yard was laid out east of Alden 
village three-quarters of a mile, and was used for many years, but 
is now abandoned, and bodies are being removed elsewhere, princi- 
pally to the cemetery spoken of north of the village. The last 
mentioned grounds were originally the private property of Joel 
Brandaw. Their daughter was the first person buried there, and 
there lie the bodies of both Mr. and Mrs. Brandaw. 


The first school was taught in 1841, by Miss Clarissa Nelson, of 
Geneva Lake. The school was taught in the first school-house 
built in the township. It was a log structure and located near 
where the railroad station now stands. This building was erected 
in the spring of 1841, and its dimensions were only 12x14 feet, 
but plenty large enough to accommodate the little band of nine 
students. The following present school statistics show quite an 
increase since then. There are now in the township nine school- 
houses and 313 children of a school age. A salary of $1,430.99 is 
annually paid teachers, and the school property is valued at $3,340. 


The first religious services were held in the fall of 1838, at the 
house of Mr. Asahel Disbrow, by Eev. Leander S. Walker. At 
this meeting Eev. Walker organized the Methodist society, which 
continued as a band of worshipers till about 1845, when they be- 
came disorganized and scattered. The first break in their ranks was 
the event of their class-leader taking up with the Millerite doctrine. 
He left this region for the purpose of proclaiming to the world his 
new-found belief, and took with him the records of the Methodist 
society, and they have never been returned. 



Methodist Episcopal Church. — In 18.61 the Methodist society 
reorganized, and with a larger membership and under more favor- 
able circumstances than at their first organization, and has proven 
much more successful. At this date, 1861, they built a house of 
worship, at a cost of about $2,000, which still stands, and is the 
only church in the township. While this buildiDg was in process 
of erection a wind storm blew down the frame, scattering the tim- 
bers in every direction. This accident ran the expense of building 
up to several hundred dollars more than was subscribed for the 
purpose. This debt was liquidated, however, by the means of a 
railroad excursion to Eockford, instituted for that purpose. 

Presbyterian Church. — In 1861 a society of Presbyterians was 
formed by Prof. Hoi ton, who afterward became an associate editor 
of a religious paper in Boston, where he died several years ago. 
The church never became strong enough to build a house of wor- 
ship, and only remained as an organized body till 1874, when, 
through the death and removals of many members, the remaining 
ones found it impossible to carry on the duties required of them, 
and disbanded. Their membership never exceeded twenty. 
Prof. Holton was their pastor two years. Then Rev. L. Clark 
two years. Bev. M. Willis preached two years. The church was 
then supplied by students four years. 


The first postoffice was established in 1843, at the residence of 
Francis Wedgwood, who- was the first Postmaster, and the office 
took his name for the first three years. Mr. Wedgwood kept the 
office till about the year 1847, when a store was opened at the 
station, and the office was moved there. P. W. Lake was appointed 
Postmaster in 1849, having the two years previously run the office 
as Deputy Postmaster under Mr. Wedgwood. Lake was succeeded 
in 1850 by E". M. Capron, who held the office till his death, which 
occurred in 1858. George B. Andrews was the next Postmaster, 
and held the position till 1881, when the present Postmaster, E. S. 
Smith, was appointed. 


There are in the township four butter and cheese factories. The 
first one was built near Alden station in 1869. It is still running, 
but not doing the business it did when it had no competition. In 



its best days it consumed as high as 15,000 pounds of milk daily. 
It is at present the property of Milo Munger, who built a factory 
in 1881 near the south line of the township. This factory takes in 
daily about 10,000 poundsof milk. In 1883 Ii. W. Oopeland built 
a factory about a mile southwest of the station, which takes in 
daily about 7,000 pounds of milk. The second factory erected in 
the township was builf in 1877, and situated near the one first 
built. After running two seasons these two factories were con- 
solidated. In 1879 S. Ferris & Son built a factory about one and a 
half miles southwest of the station. It is doing a good business, 
and consumes about 8,000 pounds of milk daily. 


This township, with all the others, held its first election (after its 
organization), in April, 1850. The following list of officers was 
the first chosen : Andrew Easton, Supervisor; M. D. Hoy, Clerk; 
B". P. Ward, Assessor; H. A. Sherman, Collector; N. M. Capron 
and T. B. Wakeman, Justices of the Peace; A. D. Blodgett, Alby 
Udell and Abraham Shafer, Commissioners of Highways; T. F. 
Sherman, Overseer of the Poor; Charles Hunt and Francis "Wedg- 
wood, Constables. The present officers are: W. H. Groesbeck, 
Supervisor; H. W. Wright, Clerk; Daniel Sullivan, Assessor; 
James Scott, Collector; Elias Glass, O. K. Latter and Daniel 
Sullivan, Commissioners of Highways; Sydney Disbrow and B. 
M. McBride, Justices of the Peace; O. R. Latter and Walter 
Bradshaw, Constables. 


The village of Alden was laid out in 1848, by Francis Wedg- 
wood, and surveyed by John Brink, of Crystal Lake. The first 
house was built by Nathan Disbrow; first store opened by P. W. 
Lake, in 1847; first wagon shop run by C. JST. Jiles, in 1865; first 
blacksmith shop opened in 1840, by J. Wood; first shoe-maker, M. 
D. Hoy, came in 1844. 

The following is a summary of the present business men of Al- 
den: Blacksmith, Wm. Chapman; barber, J. C. Brewer; butter and 
cheese manufacturers, Ferris & Son, Julian Brothers; creamery, 
Copeland & Manning; wagonmaker, John Snell; carpenter, Edward 
Austin; harness manufacturer, C. H. Bennett; hotel, T. J. Dis- 
brow; lawyer, Thomas Rushton; merchant, E. S. Smith; physi- 
cian, G. R. Barringer. 





D. Bordwell, farmer and stock-raiser, Alden Township, was born 
in Erie County, N. Y-, Jan. 15, 1828, a son of Benjamin R. and 
Mary (Huntley) Bordwell. "When he was ten years of age his 
parents moved to Buffalo, and in 1815 came to McHenry County. 
He worked two years for T. B. Wakmau, for $13 a month, when 
most men were getting $12. In 1849 h6 bought eighty acres of 
partially improved land and added to it from time to time, till he 
now owns 260 acres of improved land and has given each of his 
sons a good farm. He was married Nov. 13, 1849, to Jane Burns, 
daughter of Hugh and Nancy (Rapp) Burns, who came from Yates 
County, N. Y., to McHenry County in an early day. Mr. and 
Mrs. Bordwell have had six children — Charle3, a farmer of Alden 
Township; George, a butcher of "Woodstock; Emma, wife of Carlos 
Douglas, of Walworth County, "Wis; Minnie, died when two years 
of age; William and Frank are at home. Politically Mr. Bord- 
well is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. 

James C Brewer, blacksmith and wagon-maker, Alden, 111., 
was born in this township, June 10, 1851, the second of three 
children of Daniel and Jane M. Brewer, his father a native of 
Chautauqua County, and his mother of Canajoharie, N. Y. He 
remained with his parents till manhood, receiving a good educa- 
tion. In 1875 he went to Harvard and engaged in the coal and 
ice business a year. In 1876 he went to work with James Wood 
at the blacksmith's trade and served an apprenticeship of one and 
a half years. He then went into business for himself, and has 
been successful, having the trade of all the surrounding country. 
He was married June 10, 1874, to Maria Brando w, daughter of 
John Brandow. They have one child — Frank "W. Mr. and Mrs. 
Brewer are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Polit- 
ically he is a Republican. ' 

George T. Clawson, farmer and stock-raiser, is a native of 
Indiana, born in Warren County, Dec. 29, 1836, a son of Thomas 
and Julia (Ives) Clawson, his father a native of Montgomery County, 
Ohio, and his mother of New York. His parents were married 
in Ohio and in an early day moved to Indiana. Thomas Clawson 
represented Fountain County, Ind., in the Legislature in an early 
day. He moved to Big Foot Prairie in 1S46, where he lived 
twenty years, when he moved to Indiana, and a year later moved 
to Jasper County, Iowa, where he died. His wife still lives in 

_1 IS 



Iowa, aged eighty-four years. George T. was ten years of age when 
his parents moved to Illinois, where he was reared and educated. 
He was married Sept. 29, 1866, to Amanda M. Helm, daughter of 
James Helm. In January, 1870, he moved to the old homestead 
of his wife's father. He owns a good farm of 131£ acres well 
improved. Mr. and Mrs. Clawson have four children — Nathan B., 
Lottie M., Walter L. and Katie. They are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. Politically he is a Republican. 

E. W. Copeland was born in Albany County, N. T., Feb. 2, 
1824, the eldest son of Jacob and Amanda (Wait) Gopeland, natives 
of New York and descendants of an early Puritan family. His great- 
grandfather, Jacob Copeland, lived to be 100 years old. His 
maternal grandfather, George Wait, was a revolutionary soldier. 
When he was eighteen years of age he began working by the month, 
and when he reached his majority, in the fall of 1845, emigrated to 
Illinois and entered eighty acres of land. After paying the squatter 
$76.50 for a log-house and fifteen acres of breaking in Alden Town- 
ship, went to work for $10 a month. As soon as he got $50 
he walked to Chicago and entered forty acres more land; this he 
did four times. In the spring of 1850 he started for California, 
and was six months crossing the plains. He remained till the 
following April, when his health failed, and he returned to Illinois. 
The following fall he bought the farm where he now" lives. He 
has been a hard-working man aud is the owner of 820 acres of 
land, well improved and stocked with horses, cattle and hogs. In 
1876 he moved to Dakota and entered 320 acres of land. H e w & s 
there at the time of the Custer massacre, the Indians passing his 
dwelling. In 1876 he and his wife visited the Centennial at 
Philadelphia and friends in New York. Mr. Copeland was mar- 
ried February, 1852, to Emily Alberty, daughter of John Alherty, 
who came from Greene County, N. Y., to Illinois, in 1840. They 
have no children; have an adopted son, Louis Alberty, who is 
Superintendent of Public Instruction' in Turner County, Dak. 
He crossed the plains in 1850, in company with slave-holders and 
their slaves and helped make California a free State, in the fall 
election of 1850. Returned with the defeated slave holders, in 
1851; was in company with the Marengo boys that were murdered 
by Indians in the Humbolt Mountain in 1850. 

Samuel Cutter, one of the most prominent farmers of Alden 
Township, was born in Groton, Tompkins Co., N. Y., March 17, 
1826, the youngest of seven children of Jesse and Rachel (Stras- 





burg) Cutter, natives of New Jersey. His parents being in limited 
circumstances, he was obliged when quite young to depend upon 
his own exertions and worked by the month for farmers. He saved 
his wages and in 1856 came to Illinois and located in McHenry 
County. He taught school in the winter, and in the summer 
worked for the farmers till after the breaking out of the late war, 
when, Aug. 5, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, Ninety-fifth Illinois 
Infantry. He was appointed Sergeant, and ten months later was 
promoted to Second Lieutenant. May 22, 1863, at the charge on 
Vicksburg he was wounded, the ball passing through his shoulder 
blade, and was disabled for active duty till the following September. 
He served till the close of the war and was discharged Aug. 16, 
1865. Soon after his return home he bought the farm, where he 
now lives. He owns ISO acres of choice land, with a good residence 
and farm buildings. Mr. Cutter was married Dec. 21, 1867, to 
Mrs. Helen (McLane) Cutter, widow of Richard Cutter, of 
Oswego County, N. Y. She has had eight children, five of whom 
are living. Mr. Cutter bas been a prominent man in the township 
and has served in many official capacities. He was Supervisor from 
1877 till 1883. Politically he is a Republican. Mrs. Cutter is a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

George A. Earl was born in Kent County, England, July 4, 
1826, the youngest of seven children of John and Sarah' (Ralph) 
Earl. He remained in his native county till twenty years of age, 
and then went to London, where he was employed six years as 
butler for a wealthy family, and while with them visited many 
points of interest in the British dominion. In 1852 he came to 
the United States and was six weeks making the voyage from Lon- 
don to New York. From there he went to Albany, thence to 
Buffalo, and across the lakes to Kenosha, Wis.; thence to McHenry 
County, and bought the farm in Alden Township, where he has 
since resided. He was married in March, 1849, to Emma, daughter 
of William and Charity (Knight) Downs, of Kent County, Eng- 
land. They have had three children; but two are living — Emma 
and John A. William died at the age of five years. Politically 
Mr. Earl is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. 

Sylvanus Ferris was born in Greene County, N. Y., Aug. 27, 
1809, a son of Nathaniel and Nancy J. (Goodyear) Ferris, natives 
of New York, of English descent. He followed farming in his 
native county till 1850, when he came to Illinois and bought a 




farm in Alden, McHenry County. Seven years later he sold his 
farm and returned to Steuben County, N- Y, where lie remained 
three years, when he moved to Tioga County. In 1869 he came to 
McHenry County and bought the farm where he now resides. 
He owns 210 acres of well-improved land, with a good residence 
and farm buildings. He was married Jan. 19, 1835, to Sarah 
Brandon, daughter of "William and Sarah (Sawyer) Brandon, early 
settlers of New York. They have six children — Nancy J., Lucy, 
Mary F., Roxie, Henry L. and "William R. Politically Mr. Ferris 
was originally a "Whig, but ndw affiliates with the Republican 

Elias Glass, one of the most prominent farmers of Alden Town- 
ship, was born in Shaftsbury, Vt., March 10, 1821, a son of Alex- 
ander and Lucinda (Hawley) Class. When he was an infant his 
parents moved to Oneida County, N. Y., where he was reared and 
educated. In the fall of 1842 he came West and located in "Wal- 
worth County, Wis., but the following year entered eighty acres of 
land in Alden Township, McHenry Co., 111. In 1844 he went to Knox 
County, 111., and three years later returned to McHenry County, 
sold his land and bought the farm where he now lives. He has 
been industrious and frugal and has accumulated a large property. 
He was married March 22, 1848, by Esquire Frueman to Ann Eliza, 
daughter of Samuel and Emily (Hawley) Steward, of Hebron. 
They have had five children — Delia C, wife of Uriah Thomas, of 
Buchanan County, Iowa; Harriet A., wife of H. F. Manly, of 
Alden Township; Ellen, wife of F. H. Baird, of Hebron; Alex- 
ander, of Hebron, and Mary Ann. Politically Mr. Glass is a 
Republican. He has held many township offices and has been 
Commissioner of Highways a number of years. He is a member of 
the Baptist church. 

G. L. Kingsley was born in Norwich, Conn., Feb. 25, 1836, a 
son of "William L. and Mary P. (Latroth) Kingsley. He received 
a good education, completing it at the Norwich Normal School. 
After attaining his majority he went to New York City, and was 
employed in a dry-goods store two years. In June, 1859, he came 
to Illinois and the following fall bought his present farm. He 
own3 170 acres of choice land, all well improved. He has about 
forty head of Jersey cattle and pays special attention to dairying. 
May 18, 1883, the cyclone that passed over Northern Illinois un- 
roofed his house, broke the windows and blinds and damaged his 
barns and out-buildings. In connection with his farming in- 



dustries, Mr. King6ley has taught several terms of school and 
worked at the carpenter's trade. He was married Dec. 2, 1856, 
to Nancy Harris, daughter of Sylvanus and Cynthia (Minor) Harris, 
of Salem, Conn. ' They have three children — Frank, Minnie L. and 
Albert S. Politically Mr. Kingsley is a Eepublican. He has 
served as Commissioner of Highways several years. He and his 
wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

David Knickerbocker, deceased, was born in Columbia County, 
]ST. Y., in 1799. When he was twelve years of age he went to 
live with John Stall and remained with him till twenty-one years 
of age. He then bought a lease of land and followed agricultural 
pursuits till 1844, when, thinking the West offered better oppor- 
tunities for supporting his family, he moved to Alden, McHenry 
Co., 111., entered forty acres of land and bought forty acres. He 
added to his land from time to time till he now owns 200 acres of 
choice land. When he first came to McHenry County he had but 
$100 in money. He invested it judiciously and has been successful. 
He was married in 1833 to Susan Conse, a native of Dutchess 
County, N. Y. They had a family of four children — Isaac D. ; J. 
C, Probate Judge of Cook County; J. J., of the firm Knicker- 
bocker & Holden, attorneys, Chicago; Hannah M., wife of P. 
Bowen, of Laporte City, Black Hawk Co., Iowa. Mr. Knicker- 
bocker was an honorable, upright gentleman, and was esteemed 
by all who knew him. He died Feb. 22, 1874, aged seventy-five 
years and nine months. His wife died Aug. 12, 1874, aged sixty- 
nine years. Their eldest son, Jerome D., was born in Dutchess 
County, N. Y., in 1836, and was eight years of age when his 
parents came to Illinois. He remained with his parents till their 
death, and since then has carried on the old homestead. Politi- 
cally the sons, as was their father, are Republicans. 

Victor L r v Brec, deceased, was born in the Province of Quebec 
in 1809, and was there reared and married to Saloma Bombard, a 
native of Montreal. Soon after his marriage he moved to Ver- 
mont, where he followed farming till 1849, when he moved West and 
settled in Alden, McHenry Co., 111. He rented land five or six 
years and with the assistance of his sons was successful. In 1856 
he bought fifty acres of partially improved land, to which he sub- 
sequently added ninety acres. His family consisted of eleven 
children, eight born in Vermont and three in Illinois — Victor, 
William, Joseph, Rosella, Augustus, Henry, Edward, Alfred, 
Elizabeth, Charles, Josephine. At the breaking out of the 




war five sons enlisted, Victor, Augustus and Henry in the 
Ninety-fifth Infantry, and "William and Joseph in the Eighth 
Cavalry. Victor and Henry gave their lives for their country. The 
mother died in September, 1862, while her sons were in the army. 
The father lived to see their return. He died Nov. 16, 1868. Mr. 
and Mrs. La Brec were active members of the Catholic church. 
Politically he was a Eepublican. 

William La Brec, farmer and stock-raiser, Alden Township, 
was born in Grand Isle ^County, Vt., April 20, 1838, a son ot 
Victor and Saloma (Bombard) La Brec. He was eleven years of 
age when his parents moved to McHenry County, and here he 
was reared and educated. Sept. 18,1861, he enlisted in Company H, 
Eighth Illinois Cavalry, and was assigned to General McClellan's 
command, Army of the Potomac. After serving two vears and 
nine months he re-enlisted and served till the close of the war. 
He participated in many severe battles; among them were Antie- 
tam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and Williamsburg. He was 
discharged July 18, 1865. Since his return home he has engaged 
in farming ; after the death of his father he took charge of the 
homestead which he now owns. He was married Nov. 16 
1867, to Susan Drew, daughter of Samuel and Sally (Hutchens) 
Drew, of Steuben County, N. Y. They have had three 
children; but one is living — Frank Irwin. Mr. La Brec has held 
many local offices of trust in the township. Politically he is a Re- 
publican. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. 

Eli Merry, deceased, was born in Florida, N. Y., March 29, 
1811, a son of Malcolm Merry, who was of English descent. He 
was married Sept. 4, 1833, to Catherine Sweet, a native of Flor- 
ida, N. Y., a daughter of Dr. "Waterman Sweet. She died Sept. 
22, 1840, leaving two children — Elizabeth, now Mrs. P. H. In- 
man, of Highland Park, 111., and "W. S., of Alden Township. 
Mr. Merry engaged in the mercantile business a few years and 
then moved to a farm where he lived till 1840, when he again en- 
gaged in the mercantile business till 1848. Nov. 10, 1845, he 
married Almira C. Smith, of Oswego County, N. Y. She died Nov. 
29, 1846, leaving a daughter, Almira, now Mrs. Charles H. Park- 
hurst, of Centralia, 111. In 1849, with his three children, Mr. 
Merry moved to "Wisconsin and settled on Big Foot Prairie, in 
"Walworth County. In 1852 he moved to Alden, 111., and in 1857 
to Chemung, where he engaged in the mercantile business three 


years. He then lived on a farm in Alden Township three years, 
when he moved to Harvard, and again engaged in the mercantile 
business till 1875, when he was stricken with paralysis, from the 
effects of which he died Feb. 4, 1881, never again being able to 
engage in business. He was married April 3, 1851, to Mrs. Cyn- 
thia (Holden) Tiffany, who died Dec. 27, 1863. They had four 
children — Luzina L., born April 18, 1853, died Aug. 25, 1854; 
EllaM., wife of Frank Hogan; Cora B. and Elma E. Mr. Merry 
was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church forty 
years. Politically he was Republican. 

W. S. Merry was born in Glenville, Montgomery Co., N. Y., 
Sept. 24, 1836, a son of Eli G. and Catherine (Sweet) Merry. In 
1852 his parents came to Illinois, and he resided with them till his 
majority. He then went to Wisconsin and worked on a farm near 
Janesville. He was married March 20, 1860, to Pleaides Wilkin- 
son, daughter of Burns and H. (Badger) Wilkinson, who came from 
New York to Ohio, and thence, in 1840, to Wisconsin. Mr. Merry 
lived on a farm near Janesville two years after his marriage, and 
then returned to McHenry County, and lived on the Wilkinson 
homestead two years. In 1864 he bought the farm in Alden 
Township, where he still resides, which contains 160 acres of choice 
land. Mr. and Mrs. Merry have five children — Melville W., bora 
Jan. 6, 1862; Hersey Dell, Aug. 20, 1863; Maggie Edith, Feb. 
27, 1868; Lydia Maud, Nov. 4, 1870, and Mabel J., April 24, 
1877. In 1862 Mr. Merry enlisted in Company C, Ninety-fifth 
Illinois Infantry, and served till Oct. 10, 1865. He participated in 
all the battles of the regiment, and was a brave and reliable soldier. 
Mr. and Mrs. Merry and their son and eldest daughter are members 
of the Methodist Episcopal church. Politically he is a Republican. 

George S. Rector, a prominent farmer of Alden Township, is the 
only resident of the township who came here prior to 1845. He 
was born in Waynesburg, Schenectady Co., N. Y., Nov. 8, 1815, 
a son of William and Phoebe (Sherman) Rector, natives of New 
York, of German and English descent. He remained on the old 
homestead till 1840, when he bought a farm in the same town and 
resided there till the spring of 1844, when he came West, and ar- 
rived in Alden, May 5. He entered 120 acres of land and built a 
log cabin, which is part of his present residence. He bought two 
cows and a yoke of oxen. His chairs, tables and bedsteads he made 
himself. He has been industrious and has been successful, having 
now one of the best farms in the township. His wife made all 



their clothing from the raw material, both woolen and linen. They 
have many relics of their pioneer days. To them have been born 
thirteen children; eleven are living — William H., Sherman, Edwin, 
Amos, Theodore, Frederick, Sarah J., Esther A., Alice, Mary and 
Emma. Mr. and Mrs. Rector are members of the Wesleyan 
Methodist church. Politically he is a Republican. 

E. 8. Smith, merchant and Postmaster, Alden, 111., is a native 
of Schoharie County, N . Y., born Feb. 22, 1859, a son of Ezra and 
Adaline (Story) Smith. When he was eight years of age his 
parents moved to Illinois and settled in Harvard, and there he 
was reared and received his early education, subsequently attend- 
ing Bryant's Business College, Chicago . When nineteen years of 
age he opened a meat market in Harvard, which he carried on two 
years and a half. In 1881 he came to Alden and bought the gen- 
eral mercantile store of G-. B. Andrews. He carries a good stock, 
valued at $6,000, and has an extensive trade, it being the only 
Btore in town. He has been Postmaster since 1881. Mr. Smith 
was married May '22, 1884, to Eva Goodsell, a daughter of Asher 
and Julia (Dunham) Goodsell, who were among the earliest settlers 
of McHenry County. Politically Mr. Smith is a Republican. He 
was elected Treasurer of Alden Township in 1882. He is a mem- 
ber of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

Alby Udell, one of the most prominent farmers of Alden Town- 
Bhip, was born Feb. 13, 1812, in Strafford, Vt., a son of Oliver and 
Lucretia (Grow) Udell, natives of Vermont, of English descent. 
He was married Jan. 22, 1834, to Jane A. Wilson, a native of 
Massachusetts, daughter of John and Anna Wilson. The first 
year after his marriage he kept a tavern in Alden, N. Y. He then 
engaged in farming till 1815, when he moved to Illinois and bought 
160 acres of unimproved land on section 17, Alden Township, 
where he has since lived. He has improved his land and added to 
it till he now owns 400 acres of choice land. Mr. and Mrs. Udell 
have four children — Oliver J., Josephine L. (wife of Wm. H. 
Groverbeck), George and Asa W. Mrs. Udell died Feb. 10, 1879, 
on her sixty-sixth birthday. Mr. Udell was the first Road Com- 
missioner of Alden Township, and has served as Magistrate several 
terms. Politically he has voted the Republican ticket since 1864. 

George Udell, second son of Alby and Jane A. (Wilson) Udell, 

was born in Canada, April 16, 1839. He was six years of age 

when his parents moved to Illinois, and he was reared and educated 

in Alden Township. After leaving school he began teaching, and 


VL— ^"~" = : — — : ==== 



has since followed that vocation, making his home on the old home- 
stead. He was married Dec. 21, 1870, to Frances Ferris, daughter 
of Sylvanus and Sarah Ferris. They have two children — Otis and 
Effie. Politically Mr. Udell is a Republican. 

Oliver J. Udell, farmer and stock-raiser, theel aest son of Alby 
and Jane A. ("Wilson) Udell, was born in Alden, IS. Y., Oct. 3, 
1835. He remained with his parents till twenty seven years of 
age, assisting his father on the farm. He was married Feb. 19, 
1862, to Frances A. Butler, the first white child born in Chemung 
Township, a daughter of Burnam R. and Ehoda Butler. After his 
marriage Mr. Udell settled on his present farm, which contains 
147 acres of improved land. Mr. and Mrs. Udell have had nine 
children, eight of whom are living — ClaraM., Herbert O., William, 
Alby, Alva, Maud M., Howard V., Nellie L. and Elsie A. Polit- 
ically Mr. Udell is independent, giving his suffrage to the man 
he considers the most worthy. 

G. 8. Wickham was born in Hartford, Washington Co., N. T., 
Jan. 12, 1819, a son of Stephen and Sally (Jinks) "Wickham. His 
father was a native of Hudson, N. Y., of English descent, born 
March 8, 1786. His mother was a native of Vermont, of Spanish 
and German descent, a daughter of Dr. A. J. Jinks, a prominent 
phj'sician of "Vermont. His mother died in 1846, aged fifty-two 
years, and his father March 26, 1873, aged eighty-seven years. 
When he was eleven years of age he went to live with a friend of 
his father, Samuel French, and remained with him till his majority. 
He then was employed by a widow to superintend her farm, which 
he did successfully four years. In June, 1845, he came to Illinois, 
and the following August returned to New York, and in the spring 
of 1846 came, with his family, to McHenry County, and settled on 
the farm where he now lives, a part of which he entered from the 
Government. He owns 360 acres of land all well improved. He 
has made a specialty of stock-raising, dealing in Durham cattle and 
Norman horses. He was married Nov. 22, 1844, to Fanny Palmer, 
a native of Greene County, N. Y., born June 5, 1828. They have 
had eleven children, ten of whom are living. Flora was born April 
10, 1847, and died March 25, 1868. Their sons — Hiram, George, 
Stephen, John P. and Royal S. S. — are in Hand County, Dak. 
Homer is in Harvard, 111. Addie is the wife of F. B. Everett, of 
Columbus, Ohio. Charles A. is in St. Louis, Mo. Fanny, Joseph 
and Clinton are at home. John P. married Emma Ayers, of Hebron, 
who died in April, 1882, leaving two children — Flora A. and George 





P., who live with their grandparents. Politically Mr. Wickham has 
affiliated with the Kepublican party since its organization, prior to 
that being a Whig. He and his wife are members of the Method- 
ist Episcopal church. Mr. Wickham's father, Stephen "Wickham, 
was a soldier in the war of 1812, and his grandfather (Stephen "Wick- 
ham) was a soldier in the war between the mother country and the 
colonies, called the Revolutionary war, receiving wounds which 
caused his death. 






Location. — Topography. — Lakes and Streams. — Railroads. — 
Name. — Settlement. — Early Settlers. — Early Events. — 
Cemeteries. — Grist and Saw Mills. — School Statistics. — 
Township Offices. — Human Skeletons. — Crystal Lake Vil- 
lage. — Date of Settlement. — Location. — Crystal Lake. — 
Hotel. — Incorporation of Village. — First and Present 
Officers. — Business Directory. — Algonquin Village. — Lo- 
cation. — Indian Trails. — Relics and Graves. — Counterfeiters 
and Horse Thieves. — Village Laid out in 1836. — First 
Doings. — Postoffice. — Hotel. — School.— Churches. — Mutua 
Fire Insurance Co. — Business Directory. — Biographical. 

This is the southeastern corner township of the county. It is 
bounded by Kane County on the south, Lake County on the 
east, Nunda Township on the north, and Grafton Township on the 


This township is perhaps more broken than any other in the 
county. While its general surface features are comparatively level 
there are many bluffs and hills to be found in the vicinity of Al- 
gonquin Village and along the Fox River. The township is nearly 
equally divided in prairie, timber and bottom lands, thus furnishing 
alike advantages to the stock and grain grower. In section 6 
lies the noted Crystal Lake which extends across into Grafton Town- 
ship. The outlet to this lake furnishes quite a valuable stream 
which courses its way through the township in a southeasterly 
direction till it joins the Fox River at Algonquin Village. Big 
Spring Creek running across the southeast corner of the township, 
also furnishes fine water privileges for stock. The placid stream 
known as Fox River, with its low banks, resembling the River 
Nile in its calm, steady flow through the low lands, passes through 
this township in a southwesterly direction, entering on section 17, 
range 8, and passing out on section 3L 


M, ^W^? 

— »k., 



This township has more miles of railroad than any other in the 
county. The main line of the Chicago & Northwestern, crosses it 
in almost a direct northwesterly direction, crossing six sections. 
The Fox River branch of the same road runs through the west side 
of the township, running the entire length of it. 


The name Algonquin was suggested as being appropriate by 
Samuel Edwards, from Philadelphia, who had at one time been a 
sailor on a boat called the Algonquin. This name was accepted 
by the citizens of that township, at a meeting held for that purpose. 
Prior to this it was called Fox Precinct. 


This township claims the honor of receiving the first settler in 
the county. Samuel Gillilan made his claim on the west bank of 
Fox River, on section 23, on the 18th day of November, 1834, which 
is the earliest date of settlement that can be found. Mr. Gillilan 
came from Virginia and made his home on his claim till his death, 
which occurred Sept. 6, 1837. His widow aud son Richard still 
retain the original Government title to the land. Mrs. Gillilan, 
the first white woman who came to McHenry County to make her 
home, has reached the eighty-seventh milestone on her life's 
journey. John Gillilan came soon after and made his claim on 
the east side of Fox River where he resided till 1882, when he 
moved to Nebraska. 

In 1837 Levi Seebert came also from Virginia and located in 
this township. He married a daughter of Samuel Gillilan's and 
resides at Cary Station. Hosea Thropp came from Chautauqua, N. 
Y, in 1839 and now resides at Ridgefield, this county. Newman 
Crabtree and brother came from New York in 1836. Newman died 
in 1842, and his brother a few years afterward. Simon Chandler 
came from New York in 1836, and still resides across the river 
east of Algonquin Village. Thomas Chunn, of Virginia, came in 
1836, and died in 1843. Isaac Denny, of Virginia, came in 1836, 
and died in 1848. Edwin Powell came from New York in 1837, 
and died in 1853. Major Beardsley came from New York in 1836, 
and died in 1842. John Kern came from New York in 1836, 
and died in 1847, while on his way to California. Among the 
early settlers of this township are found the names of Beman 


-. -5 \ 


Crandall, Isaac and William King, "Wesley Hickox, Dr. Plumleigh, 
and Dr. Cornish. In 1841 John Brink came with his compass and 
chain with which he has since laid off the plats for most of the 
villages in the county, and located the township and section lines 
throughout the county. He is still a resident of Crystal Lake, 
and has been County Surveyor most of the time since his settle- 


First school was taught at Crystal Lake by Miss Hannah Beards- 
ley, in 1838. The first school-house was the log one in which 
she taught. First religious services were held in the house of 
Samuel Gillilan, 1836. "William Beardsley, son of Abner Beards- 
ley, was the first white child born in the township; this occurred in 
1837. He is still living and resides in Nebraska. On the 10th 
day of March, 1839, the first marriage was solemnized in the 
township by Beman Crandall, a Justice of the Peace, Franklin 
"Wallace and Miss Hannah S . Beardsley being the parties married. 
She is now Mrs. Columbus "Wallace, and resides in Nunda Town- 
ship. First death was Delia, daughter of Samuel. Gillilan, who 
died at the age of fifteen, on the 26th day of August, 1835. She 
was the first person buried in the Gillilan Cemetery. 


There are three cemeteries in the township, besides the Gillilan 
Cemetery, where many of the early settlers were buried. 

The first public burying grounds were laid out at Crystal Lake 
in 1840. It contains two and a half acres and is kept in a splen- 
did condition. The first person buried here was Ella King, daughter 
of Isaac King, it was at the instance of her death that the ground 
was set apart as a place of burial. In 1853 the Cemetery of Al- 
gonquin Village was laid out. It is situated north of the village 
and contains two acres, and is kept in moderately good condition. 
The land was donated by Samuel Edwards, whose wife died in 
1853, and was the first person buried here. The third burying 
ground established in the township was at Cary Station, in the 
year 1862. It contains about one acre of ground, and is kept in 
good condition. 


Benjamin Douglass and Colonel Hoffman built the first saw- 


- M*^- — — -^—zk. 


mill in the township in 1839! It was situated on Crystal Lake 
outlet, about three-fourths of a mile from the Lake. In 1842 A. 
Dawson built a saw-mill at Algonquin Village. One was built in 
1840, by Chunn & Toles, on Chunn Creek. These men, in com- 
pany with Northrop erected a grist-mill on same creek in 1862. 
Burgess & Cornish erected a grist-mill on the Cornish farm. It 
received its power from the lake outlet, and was built in 1848. 
The grist-mill on the east side of the river at Algonquin was com- 
menced by A. Dawson and completed by Henry Petrie, in 1849. 
In 1850 Dr. Plnmleigh built a brick grist-mill at Algonquin Vil- 
lage, on the lake outlet. It is still doing a good business as well 
as the other grist-mills, but the saw-mills have fallen into 
disuse and decay for want of timber. 


Algonquin takes the lead in the number of school-houses, the 
number being ten. The value of school property is estimated at 
$12,800. The annual amount of salary paid teachers is $3,336.30. 
Number of children of a school age is 630. This township has a 
circulating library of 200 volumes. 


The first township officers were : Elias A. Thomas, Supervisor; 
George W. Early, Clerk; Samuel Seebert, Isaac Filtz and Jona- 
than Dike, Commissioners of Highways; Chauncey Chapman and 
Bradley Shepard, Constables; S. M. Thomas, Collector; Allen 
Baldwin, Assessor; Samuel F. Foster, Overseer of the Poor. 

The present officers are : C. S. Dike, Supervisor; John W. 
Adamek, Clerk; John Brink, Assessor; A. L. Boomer, Collector; 
Ephraim Pease, G-uy Frary and Ed. Morton, Sr., Commissioners 
of Highways; A. L. Brown and James H. Phelps, Sr., Justices of 
the Peace; Chas. Mandrack and J. L. Conover, Constables. 


In the year 1873, when William Lade, of Algonquin Village, 
was digging a ditch on the west side of the railroad, with the view 
of carrying water to the cheese factory, which was then in process 
o building, he unearthed several human skeletons. The skulls 
were found only a few inches below the surface of the ground, 
while the bodies and lower limbs were found further down, indi- 



eating that the bodies had been placed there in an erect position. 
The bones were all in the same stage of decay, showing that they 
had all been placed there at or about the same time. The place 
was a springy spot of ground which had once been slightly exca- 
vated with the hope of procuring water, but the attempt was 
abandoned and the place known as a mud hole. Though cattle 
had tramped over these remains, three perfect skeletons were found; 
the rest had been broken by the cattle. In all there were seven 
skulls found. This circumstance, for a time, threw the community 
into quite a state o r excitement and many conjectures were made, 
but having nothing tangible to base their theories on they at last 
settled down upon the opinion that thej knew nothing about it. If 
there was one conjecture that looked more plausible than another 
it is the one in which Duadee figures. The story runs as follows : 
Previous to this event, about twenty years, while grading the Fox 
River division of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, there oc- 
curred at Dundee a circumstance which many believe furnished 
the bodies of the skeletons afterward found here. It is said that 
John Moore, of Dundee, had some difficulty with some Irishmen 
who were engaged upon the railroad, and that one night a hundred 
or more banded together and went to Moore's residence for the 
purpose of killing him, and were only defeated by Mr. Moore acci- 
dentally hearing of their plans, and preparing for them. The mob 
shot several volleys through the windows at a dummy which Mr. 
Moore had constructed and placed in his rocking chair, with a 
newspaper in its hands, seated near a lighted lamp on the table, 
the While Irish were firing at this inanimate object, Mr. Moore and a 
friend, who had secreted themselves near a bridge, which was only a 
few feet in the rear of the mob, attacked the would-be assassins with 
shotguns loaded with buckshot and bullets. They were armed with 
several weapons and did effectual work. It is supposed several 
were killed owing to the fact that many near and direct shots were 
fired into the mob and many shrieks rent the midnight air, and 
through the dim light parties were seen carrying with them dis- 
abled persons. It is also stated that when the pay-roll was called 
several Irishmen came up missing, and never afterward responded. 
When these points are considered and cognizance taken of the fact 
that there was but one burial heard of after this event, and that be- 
ing of a young Irishman who lay dead on the ground till the follow- 
ing day, when his father came and took him off the field of carnage, 
is it unreasonable to suppose that other dead bodies were secreted 

-» a\. 



in the above described place at Algonquin, to hide the enormity of 
the crime and thus prevent farther investigation on the part of the 


This village was laid out in 1840 by B. Orandall and Christopher 
Walkup. The surveyor was Asa W. Bradley. In 1843 Benjamin 
Douglass made the Douglass addition. The village is situated in 
the northwest corner of Algonquin Township, near Crystal Lake, 
from which it lakes its name. It might be proper to here state 
that the lake received its name of Z. Beardsley in 1836, who took 
up the claim now owned by Charles Dale, which embraces the 
main body of the lake. After making his claim he remarked to 
a friend that the water in the lake was clear as crystal, and from 
that day to this it has been known as Crystal Lake. 

The first house in the village of Crystal Lake was built by 
Benjamin Crandall; first wagon-makers, Smith & Parker; first 
blacksmith, William Jackson; first shoemaker, Daniel Duffy. 
These all came to the place soon after it was laid out. The first 
lawyer was S. R. Shoemaker, who came about the year 1863, and 
remained about three years, when he went to Kansas, where he 
died a short time afterward. The first hotel was a log structure, 
erected soon after the laying out of the village. It has since been 
remodeled and many frame additions made, till now it is one of 
the largest buildings in the place. It has passed through many 
hands, and is kept at present by T. H. Ashton, who has been the 
proprietor for the past fifteen years. The first landlord in this 
hotel was Lyman King. The first store was opened in 1840, by 
A. M. Anar. 

The first sermon preached in the place was by Rev. L. S. Walker, 
a Methodist minister, in the house of A. W. Beardsley. 


Free Methodist. — This society was organized in 1862, by Rev. 
Hooker, with a membership of about twenty-five, among whom are 
found the names of Thomas Hallerton, Charles Owles and wife, 
Isaac King and wife, Lizzie Haniford, Carrie Burlingame and 
others. They held services in what is known as the Brick Hall, 
till they purchased the Baptist church building, which they occu- 
pied but comparatively a short time when it burned down. They 
then, by subscription, built the fine house of worship which they 



now occupy. At the same time they built a parsonage, which to- 
gether with the church cost $3,500. The following is a list of 
ministers who, at different periods, had this church in charge : 
Eevs. Hooker, Ira Gaul, Getchell, Erastus Ribble, M. V. Clute, 
S. C. Eoberts, John Whitney, W. H. Kelley, Chas. Frink, Chas. 
Eby, James Buss, Bonner and John Kelsey, their present pastor. 
The present Trustees are: George W. Dike, M. Best, Henry An- 
drews, Wm. Peet and Thompson Morris. Their church is in a 
flourishing condition with a fair membership. The Sabbath-school 
is well attended. 

Baptist Church. — The first Baptist church of this place was 
organized May 4, 1839, by Rev. Joel "Wheeler, of McHenry, with 
the following members: Hiram Harris, Benjamin Grabtree, Sr., 
Benjamin Crabtree, Jr. Shortly after the organization of the 
church there were added to its members E. I. Smith, 0. L. Joslyn, 
A. and David W. Joslyn, Betsy Harris, Polly Crabtree, Clarinda 
Crabtree, Polly Wight, Mary Joslyn, and Mary Joslyn, Ann Smith, 
Ann H. Ormsby, Sarah M. Joslyn. Rev. Joel Wheeler, their first 
minister, preached to this congregation nearly three years, when he 
was succeeded by Rev. Alan son Pease. Next came Rev. Peter Free 
man, who in turn was succeeded by Elijah Freeman, R. R. Whit- 
tier, R. R. Gilbert, O. Adams, Brooks, John Young, A. W. Whit- 
man, Taylor, P. B. Hewitt. This constitutes the full list of ministers 
who have had charge of this church prior to 1876, since which date 
they have had no regular minister, but have been supplied by 
theological students coming from the University at Chicago. The 
present one in charge is Mr. Millard. Their first house of worship 
was a small frame building which was erected by subscription in 
1843. The first services held iu it were the funeral services of 
Mr. Pratt. It was the first church building in this section of the 
country, and was consequently used by all denominations. Prior to 
the building of this church they held services in a school-house 
near by. This church afterward burned down. They built their 
present house of worship in 1864, at a cost of about $2,300, and 
was dedicated by Rev. A. J. Joslyn. The first letter was granted 
to A. J. Joslyn, Nov. 8, 1841. Lyman King and wife were the 
first persons received by letter, May 24, 1839. The first baptism 
was performed Dec. 26, 1840, by Rev. Joel Wheeler, Fidelia King 
being the candidate. On the 11th day of March, 1843, this society 
was honored by the services of the great evangelist, Morgan Ed- 
wards. The church is in a fine spiritual condition with a lnOder- 




ate membership. The present Deacons are: John Goodwin, Nayer 
Beardsley and ¥m. Winch. 

Saint Thomas Catholic, Crystal Lake, was organized in 1856, 
by Father McMahen, in Grafton Township. While it cannot be 
properly considered a branch of the Woodstock Catholic church, 
it might be called a part of it. It was organized by the same man 
and has ever since its organization been under the care of the 
pastors in charge at Woodstock. About the time of their organi- 
zation they erected a small frame building in Grafton which they 
used as a house of worship till 1881, when the society was trans- 
ferred to Crystal Lake where they erected a fine frame building 
worth about $5,000. It will comfortably seat 225. The present 
membership numbers about sixty-five families. The Sabbath- 
school was organized May 1, 1881, with a membership of about 
forty-five. The church is in a very prosperous condition as well 
as the Sabbath-school. 

Emanuel German Lutheran. — This church was organized in 
1869, by Eev. H. Schmidt, with a very small membership, viz.: C. 
W. Schroeder, H. and N. Rose, I. Bahl, F. Schmidt, B. Deetmann, 
Chas. Eitt, J. Berg, John Bitt, F. Westfahl, J. Erkee, and C. 
Erase. They purchased the old church of the Methodists for $400 
and moved it to its present location ; to this they have added the 
steeple and vestry. In 1876 they built a school-house in which 
the German language is taught ten months each year by a teacher 
who receives a salary of $400. 

The present school attendance is seventy scholars and the church 
consists of ninety members, H. Rose, C. Sund, and H. Rosen thall 
are the present Trustees. The following preachers have ministered 
at various times to this church: H. Schmidt, C. W. Richmann, J. 
A. Detzer, H. G. Schnider, M. Heyer, and Carl Schmidt, the 
present pastor. 


This village was incorporated in 1874, and at the first meeting 
held the following officers were elected: B. Carpenter, President; 
W. Butler, Clerk, and W. B. Fitch, Treasurer. The present officers 
of the village are as below designated: E. Pease, Chairman, 
James Crow, Treasurer; L. L. Smith, Clerk; Jas. Robinson, W. 
Fitch, W. Hill, Louis Kamine and H. Ford, Trustees. 

Below will be found the summary of business of Crystal Lake: 
Blacksmiths, Ford Brothers, C. H. Lanning; carpenter, J. 

I 5 


Conover; wagon manufacturer, "William Miller; dress-makers, Miss 
Lena Buck, Miss Ette Yan Allen; grocer, Geo. W. Davis; hotel, 
T. H. Ashton, proprietor of Crystal Lake House; harness manu- 
facturer, J. H. Wilbur; merchants, John Buchler, Win. Hill, 
Marlow & Fitch; meat markets, Peter England, E. D. Williams; 
mason, John A. Simons; physician, L. D. Dowell; pickle manu- 
facturer, J. J. Wilson. 


[For many interesting items in this article the editor is indebted to Dr. W. A. 

The quiet village of Algonquin is pleasantly situated in a small, 
triangular valley at the junction of Crystal Lake outlet with Fox 
River. The bluffs are here of considerable height and the village, 
therefore, has little resemblance to the ordinary prairie towns of 
the West. The bluffs are well-wooded, and the place has many at- 
tractive and picturesque features. 

The Indians once had a trail leading across this township. It 
crossed Fox River where the mill-dam now stands, at which place 
the stream was fordable. Abundant relics of the aborigines are 
found in this vicinity. Indian graves, arrow heads, stone hatch- 
ets, etc., have been found in great numbers. 

The village was first known as Cornish's Ferry, from Dr. A. B. 
Cornish, an early settler near the ford above mentioned. Later, 
when a considerable settlement had grown up, by vote of the in- 
habitants the name Osceola was adopted. But it was learned that 
there was already a town of the same name in the State. There- 
fore the choice of a permanent name was left to Mr. Edwards, the 
chief property owner in the village, and he chose the name which 
it now bears. 

The Fox River branch of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway 
gives direct railroad connection with Elgin and Chicago. The 
road was first known as the Fox River Railroad. 

Early settlers state that this village was at one time frequented 
by a gang of counterfeiters, who were finally tracked to Bogus 
Island, about a mile further up the stream, where they were capt- 
ured. It was in this affair that the late Allan Pinkerton first ex- 
ercised his ingenuity as a detective and by his success laid the 
foundation for his celebrated career. Later, horse thieves took ad- 
vantage of the thickly-wooded ravines along the river bank to con- 
ceal themselves and their booty. But all these things are of the 


^1^-- — — — - — g fc, 


past. Now life and property is as safe here as anywhere, and it is 
difficult to realize that there ever was a different state of affairs. 

Algonquin is the shipping-point for a large and wealthy dairy 
region. The manufacture of butter and cheese and other industries 
of the village will be mentioned further on. 

Mineral springs, the attractiveness of the scenery, the opportu- 
nities afforded for boating and fishing — all combine to render the 
place a very pleasant summer resort. 

The village was first laid out about the year 1836. The original 
plat was made out by Dawson & Powell and afterward Plumleigh's 
addition was made. On the 17th day of December, 1844, the plat 
of the village was accepted and adopted as presented by Eli Hen- 
derson. The residence of Mr. Powell, which was erected before the 
village was laid out, was the first house reared on the site. The 
first store was opened in 1837 by Dr. Cornish. The first wagon- 
maker was Henry Tubbs, who is still engaged in the business ; 
first blacksmith was Henry Benthusen; first shoemaker, O. 
Leach; first tailor, Wm. Clark. 


Thepostoffice was established at Algonquin in 1836 it being the 
first in the township. Dr. Cornish was-the first Postmaster ap- 
pointed. He was succeeded by Isaac Denney, whose place was 
taken by John Peters, and he in turn was succeeded by John Sears. 
The present Postmaster is Charles Chunn. The following named 
persons are said to have at different times held the postoffice but 
the dates indicating their term of office or time of holding it we 
are unable to give: Eli Henderson, Peter Potter, Samuel Finch 
and Colonel Wm. Henry. 

The land on which now stands the village of Algonquin was 
originally owned by Wm. Powell, who in 1840 built and ran the 
first hotel of the place. It was a log structure of moderate dimen- 
sions; this he ran about ten years when he added a frame part 
which, with the log building, served as a hotel till about the year 
1858, when the entire structure was torn down and the present 
hotel building erected by James Dixon and John Griliilan,who 
owned it but a short time. Since then it has passed through many 
hands and is now the property of Charles Pingree. It is a frame 
building 33 x 50 and was built at an expense of about $1,400 and 
is the only hotel in the place. 
~- ___ ...^ 




In 1867 a fine two-story brick school building was erected in this 
place at an expense of $7,000. Previous to 1882 it had been run 
as a common district school but at this date became a graded 
school and has been run since with marked success under its able 
principals and teachers. Ernest Benson and Miss Mamie McKey 
were its two first graduates. R. H. Renney was the first Principal, 
who was succeeded by A. J. Kingman, formerly County Superin- 


St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church was organized Feb. 24, 
1844, under the instrumentality of Rev. Peter Arvidson. The fol- 
lowing is a list of the first officers chosen: Dr. Warden, Senior 
Warden; Peter Arvidson, Junior Warden. The church made but 
little progress till 1850 when it became revived and lay reading 
was inaugurated in the log house of Peter Arvidson. The church 
was under the jurisdiction of Bishop Whitehouse. This log house 
of Mr. Arvidson was a double structure with a family occupying 
each end. On Sunday mornings they prepared room for holding 
services by carrying the furniture up in the loft. Their seats were 
constructed by procuring .blocks from the wood-pile and laying on 
them rough boards made comfortable by laying on them comforts, 
quilts, etc., etc. An arm chair with a board laid across the arms, cov- 
ered with a white cloth, served for a pulpit. These meetings were well 
attended and finally the numbers became so large that they occasion- 
ally held services in a school-house and had now and then a regular 
minister of the gospel to preach to them. In 1863 Peter Arvidson 
was ordained as a minister and took charge of the St. John's Par- 
ish. At this time he was engaged in farming and he was com- 
pelled to prepare his sermons at odd times and at night. In 1864 
they commenced the building of their church in the village of Al- 
gonquin and completed it in 1865 and made their last payment on 
it in 1871. Rev. Arvidson preached in this church till his death, 
which occurred Nov. 22, 1880. His age was fifty-eight years. 
Strange to say, the bell was hung in the church during his illness 
and was tolled for the first time at his funeral. This was the first 
house of worship built in the village. It was used for the first 
ime Nov. 5, 1865, and dedicated April 21, 1868. It is a frame 
building capable of seating 200 people. It cost, including lot on 



which it stands, $2,901. Chicago friends donated $938 of this 

One year after the death of Eev. Arvidson Rev. Edward Eichie 
became the pastor and remained till the fall of 1883. At present 
the church is supplied by Dr. Cleveland, of Dundee. The church 
officers are as follows: James Key and fm. Estergren, 
"Wardens; James Key, Edward Morton, "Wm. Estergren and 
James Marshall, Vestrymen. 

The present membership is but twenty-five though it has- in the 
past reached a membership of fifty. A Sabbath-school was organ- 
ized when the church was and has now an average attendance of 
twenty scholars. 

Free Methodist. — This society was organized in 1874. The first 
services were held Jan. 15, 1874, by Rev. D. P. Baker, who labored 
several weeks among these people. The class consisted of twenty- 
one members, two coming from Crystal Lake charge and six join- 
ing by letter from the Congregational church. This class formed a 
part of the Crystal Lake circuit. They held regular meetings in 
the Congregational church from January to August, 1874, when 
they were forbidden further use of it by the pastor, Rev. Hill. The 
society then engaged Pingry's Hall, and occupied it about one year, 
when they were again granted the use of the Congregational church. 
In 1876 they erected their present house of worship. The lot was 
donated by Henry Vogler, and the church was built by subscrip- 
tion, costing $1,275. It is a frame building, and will seat 150 per- 
sons. After the building of the church Rev. Kelley became their 
pastor. Rev. F. H. Huley was the. pastor during the year 1879. 
After he left the church was for a time without a pastor, but was 
finally supplied by Rev. Charles Rawson, who was succeeded by 
Rev. David Seymour. After him came Rev. P. W. Newcomer, who 
remained two years. Rev. D. M. Sinclair is their present pastor. 
The church membership is only thirteen in number. Present 
officers: R. B. McKee, Class-leader; Wm. Head and Wm. S. 
Huntley, Stewards. In 1878 a Sabbath-school was organized with 
Henry Vogler, Superintendent. Its attendence has increased from 
a few scholars to twenty-five in number. Present officers: Myrtie 
McKee, Superintendent; Wm. Huntley, Secretary; EllaE. Lumm, 

German Lutheran. — This church was organized about the year 
1874 with a society of seventeen members. The first three years 
of their existence they held their services in the churches of other 



denominations. Kev. Stake, of Dundee, was their principal min- 
ister prior to the building of their house of worship, which oc- 
curred in 1877. It is a frame building, and will comfortably seat 
200 people; cost, $3,450. The first two years following the build- 
ing of the church Rev. Frazier was their pastor. Louis Yan Schenk 
succeeded him and remained three years. Their present pastor is 
"Walter Van Schenk, who has been with them for the past two 
years. The membership of the church numbers just forty. Present 
officers: Henry Table, Secretary; Henry Lesburg, Treasurer; Fred 
Denzing, Charles Benkoskee and Charles Geel, Trustees; Joseph 
Winke, Henry Henk and Charles Berkley, Directors. In con- 
nection with the church they have instituted a Sabbath-school, 
which has a small attendance. The pastor is the superintendent. 
On the church grounds they built a school-house in which the pastor 
teaches a day school nine months in the year. Here both English 
and German are taught, one-half of each day devoted to each of 
the languages. 

Congregationalist. — This society was formed Feb. 9, 1850, at the 
residence of A. Dodd, under the charge of Kev. I. C. Beach. The 
following is a list of those who comprised the first membership of 
the church : James Humes and wife, Ambrose Dodd, Mrs. Allen 
Kerns, John Van Buren and wife, Horace Wells and wife, Mrs. 
Abigail Smock, Mrs. Jane P. Foster, Wright Warren and wife. 
At this date they were without a house of worship, and held 
services chiefly in school-houses till 1866, when their present house 
was built. It was dedicated Jan. 17, 1868. It is a frame building 
and will seat about 200 people. Rev. C. L. Hall was the first 
minister called; he occupied the pulpit half the time for one year. 
He was succeeded by Rev. N. C. Clark, who remained but a few 
months, preaching every four weeks. He was succeeded by Rev. 
1ST. Shapley, who preached half the time, remaining till 1855, when 
Rev. E. C. Berge was called. Rev. J. D. Davis followed him May, 
1867, making Rev. Berge's stay about twelve years. Rev. I. B. 
Smith came next; he resigned in 1868 for the reason that the con- 
gregation failed to raise his salary. He was succeeded by Rev. T. 
Gulespie, and he by Rev. W. W. Cutless, who preached half the 
time. In 1876 a Miss Newman came and preached six months. 
March 24, 1877, Rev. Hill, a Methodist minister of Dundee, 
preached for this people half the time, and afterward became a 
Congregational minister. He was succeeded by Rev. Alfred 
Wray, a student from Chicago, who came in 1878, and remained 


eighteen months. Rev. Andrich came in 1882, and remained hut 
three months. Rev. Huestis came after him and remained one 
year. He was succeeded by their present minister, Rev. C. 0. 
Campbell. First officers : Wright Warren and Horace C. Wills, 
Deacons; S. F. Foster, Clerk. Present officers : W. Rattray, 
Deacon; Miss Teenie Stewart, Clerk; Burnett B. Stewart, Treas- 
urer. Sunday-school organized in 1882. Average attendance, 
eighteen scholars. 


was organized March 18, 1874, with the following members, who 
represented a capital of $50,000 : Guy S. Frary, S. H. Hamilton, 
A. C. Abbott, Levi Seebert, J. A. Sherwood, J. S. Klink, L. P. 
Smith, S. R. Brown, M. S. M. West, Richard Gillilan, H. T. Dy- 
gert, C. F. Dike, S. G. Seibert, Levi McNett, George Crabtree, J". 
C. Bennett, W. P. Benson, J. M. White, D. Dunn, A. L. Weaver, 
C. E. Paddock, Ambrose Dodd, G. Lane, E. Buck, Frank Herm- 
sath, Lewis Lockwood, J. H. Paddock, James Philip, E. H. Ben- 
son, J. L. Dodge. The membership is still increasing, and the 
company is on a sound financial basis and doing a good business, 
the object being to save the high rates usually paid insurance 
companies, and by mutual agreement secure each other against 
loss with no high salaried officers and clerks to pay. 

The following is a summary of the business in the village 
of Algonquin : Agricultural implements, William Ogbin, John 
Adamek; blacksmiths, Joseph Johnston, P. N. Wallaver, H. A. 
Benthenysen; barber, M. Benthenysen; carpenters, Henry Keys, 
Charles Kubbank; cheese manufacturers, C. W. Gould; wagon 
manufacturer, Henry Toepel; druggist, Wm. A. Nason; feed 
store, George Low; furniture, John Johnston; groceries, Mrs. C. 
E. Miller; harness manufacturer, Charles Wandrack; hotel, Charles 
Pengrey, proprietor of Algonquin Hotel; hardware, Helm & 
Peter; merchants, Wenholz & Philip, John D. Furguson, C. C. 
Chunn; meat market, Ford & Smith; tailor, James Mattas; flour- 
raills, George Marshall, Henry Leisburg, Andrew Doig, Jr. ; phy- 
sician, W. A. Nason; shoemakers, Augustus Wolf, James Lund, 
G. Gjpert, Thomas Emerson; saloons, Joseph Wienke, James 


A. C. Abbott was born in the State of New York in 1826, a son 



of Stephen and Lydia (Devereaux) Abbott, natives of Vermont 
and Massachusetts. In 1844 he was apprenticed to learn the wag- 
on-maker's trade. In 1847 he opened a shop of his own in Warren 
County, Pa. In 1856 he came to McHenry County and opened a 
shop at Cary's Station and carried on the blacksmith and wagon- 
making business four years. He then began working at the car- 
penter's trade, and has since followed it at intervals, in connection 
with farming. In 1866 he bought 120 acres of land which he cul 
tivates, aud also runs a dairy of twenty-five cows. He was mar- 
ried in 1847 to Melissa, daughter of Koyes Wheeler. They have 
had eight children — Frank, Dwight and Minnie are deceased; 
Spencer married Ellen Fitz and has two children; Fred is a single 
man and resides at home — is employed on the railroad; Al- 
bert married Elizabeth Kelsie and has two children; Clara 
married Charles McNett and has four children; Capitola 
married Oscar Bute and has four children. In 1865 Mr. 
Abbott enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Forty-sev- 
enth Illinois Infantry, and served till 1866. His father was 
a soldier of the war of 1812, and received a land grant in 
Nebraska of 160 acres. Mr. Abbott has been Justice of the Peace 
nine years. 

E. H. Benson is a native of Massachusetts, born in 1832, a son 
of Hiram and Rhoba (Davis) Benson. He was reared in his native 
State and in 1855 came to Illinois. He stopped in Lake County a 
year and in 1856 came to McHenry and located on a farm in this 
township. In 1859 he bought his present farm of 312 acres, lying 
two miles north of the village of Algonquin. He runs a dairy, 
milking fifty cows, and owns seventeen head of horses, besides sheep 
and hogs. He has a pleasant residence and good farm build- 
ings. He was married in 1861 to Alvira Miller, daughter of 
Jesse and Ruth (Klinck) Miller. They have had five children; 
but four are living — Lewis, Mary, Edwin and Grace. Frank, born 
in 1865, died in 1871. Mr. Benson has held the office of Super- 
visor two terms and of School Trustee ten years. His parents 
came to McHenry County in 1856, living here till the father's 
death in 1871. The mother is living in Maywood, 111. They had 
a family of six children — Almira, now Mrs. William Miller; Wal- 
lace, married Emma Hill; Orrin, of Maywood, 111; Philetus, mar- 
ried Maggie Shafer and lives in Minnesota; Climena, unmarried, 
of Maywood, and E. H. Wallace and Orrin enlisted in the late 
war. Wallace was wounded at Perry ville, and Orrin was taken pris- 


oner at the same battle, and while in Libby Prison had the small- 

Wallace P. Benson was born in Cattaraugus County, 1ST. Y., Aug. 
2, 1836, a son of Hiram and Rhoba (Davis) Benson, and grandson 
of Consider Benson and Paul Davis. -He was reared a farmer, re- 
ceiving a common-school education. He came West in 1856 and 
settled in Algonquin Township, where he has since resided. He 
enlisted in the war of the Rebellion in Company H, Thirty-sixth 
Illinois Infantry: participated in the battles of Pea Ridge and Per. 
ryville. At the latter battle he was wounded and still carries the 
ball in his left leg. He was discharged and returned home. April 
18, 1866, he was married to Emma Hill, daughter of Benjamin 
Hill. They have had five children; but three are living — Ernest, 
Mark and Raymond. Mr. Benson owns a tine farm of 230 acres 
which is rented. Mrs. Benson owns a two-thirds interest in 226 
acres of choice land. Mr. Benson's grandfather, Paul Davis, was 
a soldier in the Revolution and his descendants have his discharge 

8. L. Burton was born in Yermont in 1822, a son of David and 
Mary (Powell) Burton, natives of Vermont. He came to McHenry 
County in 1854 and settled in Nunda Township, on the farm now 
occupied by E. J. King. He owns 220 acres of good tillable land, 
on which is run a dairy of thirty cows. In 1883 he established a 
butter and cheese factory at Cary's Station and the first year 
turned out 240 pounds of cheese and 140 pounds of butter per day. 
His business is constantly increasing, and bids fair to rival the 
older established factories. Mr. Burton was married in 1843 to 
Lucy, daughter of Ransom and Sarah (Lott) Sawyer, of Canada. 
They have had nine children — Newman and Sarah are deceased. 
Horace married Celia Mudgett. Lewis married Susan Morlan. 
Wallace married Helen Bradley. Ellen is the wife of F. E. Cox. 
Purditta is the wife of A. Mink. Isabelle is the wife of E. J. 
King. Capitola is at home. 

Simeon Chandler was born in Oneida County, 1ST. Y., in 1804, 
a son of Simeon and Elizabeth (Bigelow) Chandler, natives of Vir- 
ginia. He is the only one living of a family of six children. He 
was married in 1836 to Almira Bradford, daughter of Joseph and 
Martha (Miller) Bradford, natives of Connecticut, and immediately 
after his marriage started for the then far West. He left his wife 
in Michigan and. proceeded to Chicago, then a hamlet, where he was 
offered $5 a day by the Government to take Indians West. He 



declined the offer and, following the Indian trail to Fox River, 
stopped and bought a claim of Charles Cuttler for $3,000. He 
then went for his wife and on his return brought wagons from 
Chicago. He had a log house near where the depot now stands. 
Their only neighbors were Mr and Mrs. CHUilan. In the spring of 
1837 he cut about 100 tons of hay. He raised about 300 bushels 
of wheat, 1,700 bushels of oats, 800 bushels of potatoes and 400 
bushels of buckwheat. He sold his oats and buckwheat for $1 a 
bushel, his wheat for $1.50,and his potatoes for 50 cents, the buyer 
digging them. He had four yokes of oxen, and was exceptionally 
prosperous for an early settler. He now owns 217 acres of land 
and thirty dairy cows. He has been a resident of the county about 
forty-eight years and has seen the country grow from a wild, uncul- 
tivated state to that of improvement and culture. He is a promi- 
nent citizen and by his progressiveness and public spirit has 
gained the esteem of the entire community. In 1879 he had a 
stroke of paralysis that resulted in partial helplessness and total 
blindness. Mr. and Mrs. Chandler have had six children — Eliz- 
abeth, wife of John Keene, of Spring Valley, Minn.; Henry H., 
now of Iowa, married Hannah Woolover; Albert, married Mary 
Gardiner, and lives in Kansas; Lewis, of Algonquin, married Eliz- 
abeth Polk; Emma, wife of John Gardiner, of Kansas; Jeannette, 
wife of Justice Chapman, lives on the homestead. 

William Orabtree was born in 1827, a son of Newman and Sally 
(Hicks) Crabtree. He is one of a family of eleven children, five of 
whom are deceased. In 1840 Mr. Crabtree came to Illinois with 
his brother George and settled in Algonquin Township, where he 
has since lived. He now owns 160 acres of fine land and 
runs a dairy of sixteen cows. He was married in 1854 to Betsey 
A. Weaver, daughter of David and Sally (Heath) Weaver. They 
have six children — Effie, wife of Joseph Shales; Minnie, Guy D., 
Glen, George and Asa. 

O. F. Dike is a native of Rutland County, Va., a son of G. W. 
and Elizabeth (Wallace) Dike, natives of Vermont. He came to 
Illinois with his parents in 1841 and settled on the farm where he 
now resides. Their journey West was via the canal to Buffalo; 
thence via the lakes to Chicago, and thence to McHenry County 
by teams. His father was a prominent man of the county and 
has held many of the offices of trust. The family consisted of 
four sons— Henry (died in 1848), William W., Edward, and C. F., 
our subject, who married Frances, daughter of Augustus and 



Mary (Penfield) Hammond, of Virginia. They have had six chil- 
dren — Flora, died in 1875, aged three years; Hammond, Elizabeth, 
Mary, Frank and Edith. In 1861 Mr. Dike enlisted at the first 
cal three-months' men and served under Captain Joslyn, 

of Elgin. At the expiration of his term he re-enlisted and was 
appointed First Lieutenant. He was a faithful soldier and has 
been one of McHenry's best citizens. 

J. L. Dodge was born in Boston, Mass. , in 1851. His parents 
still reside in Boston. His father, James S. Dodge, is engaged in 
the jewelry and fancy goods business at 102 Tremont street. He 
graduated from the Boston High School in 1866 and in 1867 came 
West and located in McHenry County. He has been a steady, in- 
dustrious young man and now owns 155 acres of good land on 
which he resides. He runs a dairy of twenty-five cows. Mr. 
Dodge was married in 1871 to Mary Page, adopted daughter of 
Eben and Elizabeth (Pray) Snow. They have five children — James 
F., Minnie E., William H., MaryE. and Flora May. Politically 
Mr. Dodge is a Republican. He has held the office of School Di. 
rector six years. 

H. P. Dygert was born in New York in 1814, a sonof John 
and Elizabeth (Deboise) Dygert. His fraternal grandparents came 
from Germany prior to the Revolution, and lived at Fort Plain, 
N. Y. His grandfather was taken prisoner by the Indians during 
the war, but the chief was acquainted with him, and gave him a 
wampum belt and set him at liberty. Our subject's maternal 
grandparents came from England prior to the Revolution. H. P. 
Dygert is one of live children. Nicholas and Eliza are deceased. 
Abraham lives near Woodstock. He married Rhoda Snook and 
has ten children. Elizabeth married John Helegal and has eight 
children. H. P. has been married twice. In 1834 he married 
Laura Peck, daughter of diaries Peck. She died in 1863, leaving 
three children — Charles, married Lucina Lucas; Emma, married 
James Marshall and has six children; Ellen, married Harvey Carr 
and has two children. In 1864 Mr. Dygert married Miss Eliza 
Tibbett. They have had four children — Laura, deceased; Edwin 
H., Cora and Lorena. Mr. Dygert came to Illinois in 1839 and 
located in Algonquin Township. He is one of the oldest pioneers 
of the county, and thinks his son Charles the first white boy 
born in the county. He helped build the first bridge across Fox 
River; was one of the first County Commissioners; was one of 
the first School Directors, and hel 1 the office about twenty years, 



and thinks the schopl building in District No. 7 was the second 
in the county. He owns a tine farm of 120 acres, well improved, 
with good buildings, and runs a dairy of twenty cows. 

William Estergren is a native of Sweden, born in 1817, a son of 
Johan Magnus and Anna Maria (Wessen) Estergren. His father 
died in 1832 and his mother in 1837. The father was a minister 
of the Lutheran church. In August, 1841, Mr. Estergren em- 
barked for America and landed in New York the 12th of October. 
He proceeded to Cincinnati where he worked till the next spring, 
burning charcoal for his board, and after that received $4 a month 
for his services. From Cincinnati he went to Middlebury, Ohio, 
and worked in the woolen factory, having learned the trade in 
Sweden. In 1814 he came to McHenry County and entered eighty 
acres of Government land, to which he has since added and now 
owns 200 acres of fine land. lie has his farm well stocked, run- 
ning a dairy of twenty-five cows. Mr. Estergren has been one of 
the most enterprising men of the township. He is well educated, 
graduating with honors at the Royal College of Linkoping, 
and has held several of the township offices. He was elected 
School Director at the first organization of District No. 8, and 
has been Road Commissioner nine years. In the spring of 1855 
he went to Europe and was married in the spring of 1856 to 
Fredericka A. Grandahl. They have three children— Charles 
Frederick William; Anna Mathilda Maria, married Dec. 30, 1884, 
to S. J. Dahlborn, of Carpentersville, Kane Co., 111., and Carrie 
Emily Sophia. The family are members of the Protestant Episco- 
pal church. 

E. A. Ford is a native of Algonquin Township, born in 1845, 
a son of Hiram and Lucy (Brown) Ford, natives of New York. 
They came to Illinois in 1841 and settled on the farm where our 
subject now lives. The father died in ] 848. The mother lives 
with a son in Algonquin. They had a family of seven children: 
but four are living — Henry, now of Elgin, married Alice Goodsen 
and has four children ; Roselle, married Dodd and has five chil- 
dren; Yernon, married Nelia Dodd and has three children, and 
E. A. Diautha, Julia and Yolney are deceased. Diantha married 
Daniel Wanser and left one son. E. A. Ford married Jeannette, 
daughter of John and Ellen (Fitchey) Penny. He lives on the 
home farm where he owns ninety-four acres of good land, and 
carries on a dairy of thirty-five cows. He has been running a 
meat market in Algonquin five years and one in Carpentersville 




a number of years. His brothers, Henry and Vernon, were both 
soldiers in the t war of the Rebellion. 

S. F. Foster was born in East Machias, Me., in 1809, a son of 
Samuel and Comfort (Scott) Foster. His grandfather was one of 
the first settlers of the United States. His father emigrated to 
Cincinnati, Ohio, when there was but one building there. One of 
the party was scalped by the Indians and the others returned to 
Maine. Mr. Foster's parents died in 1859 within ten days of 
each other, the father aged ninety-five years and the mother 
eighty-seven. In 1841 Mr. Foster came to Illinois and settled on 
the Crystal Lake South Prairie, where he entered eighty acres of 
land from the Government, and a few years later added forty acres 
to it. For two years his nearest neighbor was two miles from 
him. He was married in 1835 to Jane P. Fletcher, of New 
Hampshire, daughter of Joshua and Sarah (Pulcipher) Fletcher. 
Her father was at that time Secretary of State of Texas, the State 
being under dispute of Mexico and the United States. Mr. and 
Mrs. Foster have had six children; but three are living — Alveno, 
who left home for California in 1859 and has not been heard from; 
John, now living in Chicago, 111.; and Julia, wife of John Sullivan. 
Angeline, wife of George Wallace, Eleanor and Joseph are 
deceased. In 1881 Mrs. Foster lost her eye-sight from the effects 
of neuralgia, the optic nerve becoming paralyzed. Mrs. Foster 
has been a member of the Congregational church since 1843, and 
Mr. Foster since 1858. He has been Clerk of the church for 
twenty years. He has served as School Director of the township 
twenty years and Pathmaster several years. 

0. S. Frary, one of the most highly respected citizens of this 
township, was born in York State in 1829. His parents, Alonzo 
and Maria (Thuman) Frary, were parents of four children, of.whom 
Mr. Frary is the only one now living. His parents came to Mc- 
Henry County in 1843, and settled upon one of the farms which is 
now the homestead of Mr. Frary. They were poor, but by years 
of arduous toil they accumulated a considerable property and at 
the decease of Alonzo Frary, which occurred in 1861, the family 
were in good circumstances. Guy Frary began life for himself 
when a lad, and worked early and late for small wages, yet man- 
aged to save a part of the wages earned each month, until he had 
a few hundred dollars which was well invested, and this formed 
the nucleus from which has grown an income far surpassing his 
m^st sanguine expectations. Mr. Frary was married to Miss 


Elizabeth, daughter of Newman and Sallie Hicks, in 1854. For 
many years they lived on a farm purchased by Mr. Frary one 
mile west of Cary, where their children were born. Their eldest 
daughter, Emma, is now the wife of Jas. H. Philp, a prosperous 
merchant in the village of Algonquin. Two other daughters, 
Letitia and Laura, are yet members of Mr. Frary's family. Maria, 
the mother of Mr. Frary, after the death of her husband made 
her home with her son, and the kind care bestowed upon her by 
Mr. and Mrs. Frary during the many years in which she re- 
mained almost a helpless invalid proved conclusively the love 
and esteem in which she was held by her children. Every comfort 
and luxury which money could procure or willing hands devise 
was secured to promote her welfare, but notwithstanding these 
means, and the most efficient medical talent, her death oc- 
curred in April, 1884. Mr. Frary erected a fine residence upon his 
farm which adjoins the pleasant village of Cary, and removed his 
family from the farm-house where so many happy days were 
spent, to the new and modern structure, in 1883. If ever there 
was a home in which contentment reigns supreme, 'tis in the 
household of our subject, and never was there a more happily 
mated couple than the parties mentioned. Books, music and 
the air of refinement which pervades every thing connected with 
their pleasant home, and the hearty welcome accorded every visitor, 
be they old-time friends or strangers, make it a desirable place to 
visit in the village. The several offices of justice, trustee, and 
supervisor of the township, were held for years by Mr. Frary, 
and their duties were faithfully discharged. No more efficient 
official has ever served the people of Algonquin Township, and 
would he accept further honors of this character his popularity 
would carry a vote far in advance of the party ticket which he rep- 
resents. We have no words of flattery to give any one, but as 
a conscientious, upright, and strictly honest business man, there is 
no name mentioned in this work that carries with it a greater in 
fluence in business circles than he whose name heads this sketch. 
He is the senior member of the firm of Frary & Goodwin, who 
deal largely in salt pickles, which industry is one of the chief 
factors in Cary. They purchase and salt annually from twelve to 
fourteen thousand bushels of cucumbers, thus making Cary one of 
the first markets in the county for this product. Mr. Frary has 
been a resident of Algonquin Township from early boyhood, and 
ably represents it in a business and social way. 

^7 «-^ -— tJJv** 



S. S. Gates, a descendant of one of the patriots of Revolutionary 
fame, was born at Stockbridge, Vt., Oct. 1, 1799. Shortly after 
his birth his parents removed to Worcester, where his early days 
were passed in the routine of boyhood. Having the advantage of 
the best academic institutions then in the East he availed himself 
of those opportunities until he became possessed of a liberal edu- 
cation. In the spring of 1838 he visited McHenry County on a 
prospecting tour, returning in the fall, the entire journey being 
made on horseback. The spring of 1839 again finds him return- 
ing to the fragrant prairies of this county, this time to make in- 
vestments, which were laid at Crystal Lake. After making his 
purchase he returned to his home in Massachusetts. In 1840 we 
find him elected to the Legislature of his native State. As a poli- 
tician he was actuated by the noble resolve to do right; and this 
honesty of purpose, connected with an extensive knowledge of the 
principles which nnderlie our free Government, rendered him 
peculiarly fitted for the position he was elevated to. In 1844 he 
was married to Miss Sylvia Day, daughter of Jabez and Sarah 
(Eddy) Day, of Webster, Mass. Mrs. Gates was the fourth 
daughter of a family of four sons and eight daughters, and now 
the only one living. She passed her early days at the academies 
of Eastern Massachusetts, graduating therefrom with honors. Her 
ancestors were among those who fought for our liberties in '76, 
her grandfather holding a commission as General under Washing- 
ton. Jonathan Day, her brother, held a General's commission in 
his State, and a man well known in the political history of his 
county. John E. was a merchant of Dudley. Erasmus, a mer- 
chant of Roxbury. Mr. and Mrs. Gates's family consisted of three 
daughters and two sons, viz. : Sarah R., married Loren Andrews, 
(deceased), formerly President of Kenyon College, a man of rare 
intellectual attainments, and ranked among the leading men of 
Northern Ohio. Abbie E. married J. A. J. Kendig, a promi- 
nent lawyer of Chicago. Summer E. (deceased) was a member of 
the Eighth Illinois Cavalry ; was taken prisoner by Moseby, and 
placed in Libby Prison; when exchanged his health was wrecked. 
His likes and dislikes were extreme, but his heart was as large as 
time, and his generosity as broad as eternity. William D., a 
graduate of Wheaton College and the Law School of Chicago, 
married Miss Ida Babcock, of La Grange, 111., the daughter of a 
gentleman well known in the business circles of that State. In 
boyhood William D. was one whose fellowship was sought by all; 


that trait to-day finds him the genial, courteous attorney, as well 
as the designing, calculating manufacturer. Mary 0., wife of G. 
W. Oakly, located at Madison, Wis., and connected with the 
State Journal, the leading paper of the State. In 1852 Mr. Gates, 
with his family, came "West, and permanently located on the 
property bought at Crystal Lake in 1839. He now gave his at- 
tention to the improvement of his prairie home. The zeal and good 
judgment which characterized his early life soon became manifest 
here, by his accumulating one of the largest landed estates in the 
county. For upward of sixty years he was Deacon in his church 
and an earnest worker in the cause of Christ. To-day we hear the 
words of gratitude spoken by many who are now classed as wealthy, 
that they owe their success in life to his assistance and words of 
encouragement. In his expenses he was honorable but exact; 
liberal in his contributions to whatever promised utility, but frown- 
ing and unyielding on all visionary projects. His heart was warm 
in its affections. He exactly calculated every man's value, and 
gave him a solid esteem proportional to it. In private life of spot- 
less character, morally without a blemish, his life was thoroughly 
domestic. In all, a remarkable man; his character was, in a mass 
perfect, in nothing bad, in few points indifferent, and it may be 
truly said, that never did nature and fortune combine more com- 
pletely to make a great business man, and to place him in the same 
constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an 
everlasting remembrance. On June 24, 1876, he died at his home, 
in the village of Crystal Lake, the place that had witnessed the 
active life of his more matured manhood . When such men pass 
from our midst their, loss seems irreparable. 

Mrs. Margaret Oillilan is the widow of Samuel Gillilan, who 
died Sept. 6, 1837, and is buried on the farm where Mrs. Gillilan 
lives. She is the daughter of Richard and Nancy (McNeal) Hill, 
and came with her husband from Pocahontas County, W. Ya., in 
1834. She is the only one living of a family of ten children- 
She has had a family of nine children, six of whom — Deida, 
Lydia, Chauncy, Nancy, Martha, and James — are deceased. The 
living — Electa, now Mrs. Levi Seibert; Tabitha, now Mrs. Floyd 
Clanson, of Missouri, and Eichard, who is living with his 
mother. Mrs. Gillilan owns 430 acres of land two miles north of 
Algonquin. She came to McHenry County in 1834, and was 
probably the first white woman to cross Fox River. The Indians 
were rather friendly, enough so to steal their horse, which was 



afterward recovered. They lost the first crop of corn planted on 
account of sickness. At one time when a party of Indians were 
in her house, one of them spat in a pot of boiling meat. Mrs. 
Gillilan sprang on him and put him out of the house which very 
much delighted the rest of the savages. 

John Helm is a native of Cook County, 111., born in 1843, a son 
of John and Sarah B. (Tuttle) Helm. Six of a family of seven chil- 
dren are living — John, Daniel, Arthur, Nancy, Eliza and Emily. 
George enlisted in the Eighty-eighth Illinois Infantry, and was 
killed at the battle of Murfreesboro, Tenn., in 1862. The father 
died in Chicago, in 1872, aged sixty-three years. The mother is 
living in Algonquin. In 1861 John Helm enlisted in Company C, 
Sixty-fifth Illinois Infantry. From Chicago they went to Yirginia, 
and three months later the command was captured at Harper's 
Ferry, but were paroled on the ground and given two days' rations. 
They went to Annapolis and from there they were ordered to 
Camp Douglas, Chicago, where they remained about five months. 
From there they were sent to Lexington, Ky., where they were 
quarantined six weeks, on account of small-pox in the regiment. 
They then went to the Big Sandy River, and engaged in hunting 
bushwhackers; thence to East Tennessee. They were the first 
troops to cross the Cumberland Mountains to Knoxville, where 
they were surrounded by the rebels, and for twenty-one days their ra- 
tions a part of the time consisted of one ear of corn a day. At last 
assistance came from Chattanooga, aud the siege was ended. They 
subsequently participated in several battles, the most notable being 
Atlanta and Nashville. After serving three years and three months, 
in 1865 Mr. Helm was discharged and returned home. In 18 69 
he came to McHenry County, and, with John Peter, engaged in the 
hardware business. They also deal extensively in lumber and 
coal. Mr. Helm has, by his integrity and uprightness, won the 
esteem of the community, and for six years has held the office of 
School Director. He married Mary De La Montanye, who is of 
French descent. They have four children — George H, Millie M. 
"Walter M. and Leon J. 

Mrs. E. M. Huntley was born in New York State in 1814, a 
daughter of Cornelius and Tamar Carman. But two of eight chil- 
dren are living — Mrs. Huntley and a brother Michael, now of Iowa. 
The deceased are — Charles, William, Lot, Mary, Sarah and Judith, 
She was married in 1832 to S. M. Huntley, of New York, and in 
1847 they came to Illinois, and settled on the farm now owned by 



Mrs. Huntley. They had seven children, three of whom are de- 
ceased — David, A.lbert and Emory. David enlisted in the Ninety- 
fifth Illinois Infantry, and was killed at the battle of Shiloh. 
Emory was drowned at Elgin in 1881. "William served four years 
in the Rebellion. He was wounded in the neck, from the effects oi 
which his right side is partially paralyzed. Nancy married Henry 
Head, now of Iowa. Frank married Louisa Williams. Charles 
married Mary Vetchen, who died in 1865, and in 1868 he married 
Miss Smith. Mr. Huntley died in 1872. He was one of Mc- 
Henry County's most honored and respected citizens. Mrs. Hunt- 
ley's farm contains 136 acres of choice land. It is well stocked, 
and the improvements are all in good repair. 

James Kee was born in the north of Ireland in 1814, a son of 
James and Elizabeth (McHaffey) Kee. When seventeen years of 
age he came to the United States and remained in New York City 
sixteen years. In 1836 he was married to Rachel Morton, daughter 
of Robert and Margaret (Fee) Morton. Of his twelve children, 
nine are living — Elizabeth, wife of Fred B. Keys, has two children; 
Robert, married Mary Goodsin, and has three children; James, 
married Ellen Pingrey, and has three children; Margaret J., wife 
of William Kee; Joseph, now of Kansas, married Jane Mitchel, 
and has one child; Morton K, of Nebraska, married Emily Hut- 
quist; Mary E., Charlotte L. and Edward J. are at home. One 
son, William, married Miss Howe, and located in Nebraska, Aug. 
7, 1884. A telegram called Mr. Kee to the death-bed of his son, 
who died before the father reached him, leaving five children. He 
was a young man of more than ordinary ability, and was held in 
high esteem by all who knew him. Mr. Kee came to McHenry 
County in 1849, and settled on the farm where he now lives. He 
owns 214 acres of fine land, and runs a dairy of forty cows. In 
1850 he united with the St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church of 
Algonquin, and in 1859 was elected Vestryman. He is now filling 
the office of Senior Warden. For twenty-five years Mr. Kee has 
served as School Director of his district. He is one of the earliest 
settlers of the county, and is one of the most prominent and in- 
fluential citizens. 

Mrs. Ann Kerns was born in New York in 1799, the daughter 
of James and Catherine (Peek) Schermehorn, her father a native of 
Holland and her mother of England. She is the only one of ten 
children living. She was married in 1820 to William Kerns, who 
was of Irish descent. To them was born eight children — Samuel 

. t , — — -- - - — 


rUt/y <~6^£^- 



Augustus, Susanna, Jane, Sarah, Catherine, "William, Stephen and 
Edward. Augustus and Stephen enlisted in the late civil war, and 
Augustus died from the effects of fever contracted while in the 
service. Mrs. Kerns came with her husband to McIIenry County 
in 1837, and is the second oldest resident of the township. They 
entered 120 acres of land, where Mrs. Kerns has since resided, and 
where her husband died June 2, 1845. Mr. Kerns was a soldier 
in the war of 1812, and served five years and seventeen days. In 
1881 Mrs. Kerns had a severe stroke of paralysis which greatly im- 
paired her memory. She is well known and respected throughout 
the county. 

Henry Lye is a native of "Merrie England," yet of him much 
may be said of interest to the readers of this history. It is not 
necessary that a man be native born to figure prominently in a 
work of this character. It is not of Americans, nor of those who 
were bred and born in McHenry County, to whom this work is 
dedicated, but to the people who, by reason of their energy and 
success in a business way, have made McHenry County one of the 
foremost in the grand State of Illinois, that we wish to speak. To 
those who have by the sweat of their brow made our beautiful 
prairies bloom and blossom like the garden of Eden shall the 
credit be given, and to no one does the historian more cheerfully 
accord it than to the person whose name adds greater luster to this 
work than if he were purely an American, and had been reared 
upon the broad Western prairies. Henry Lye was born in York- 
shire, England, in 1828, and emigrated to America in 1851. He 
landed at New York City, and soon afterward proceeded to Albany, 
where he resided four years. He was married during the first 
year of his residence at Albany, to Miss Sarah Cowlan, daughter of 
William and Hannah (Rider) Cowlan, who has ever been a faith- 
ful and loving wife, and to whom much credit is due for the suc- 
cess Mr. Lje has made of his business. Possessed of a cheerful 
and energetic nature she has always stood faithfully by his side, 
and has helped save what he so hardly earned, until they now have 
ample means to live a life of luxurious ease should they desire. In 
1855 Mr. Lye determined to seek a home in the West, and, with 
his wife, came to Elgin, 111., which place was then only a small 
village. In July of that year he engaged with Elisha Buck for a 
short time to work upon his farm. In the autumn of the same 
year he concluded to engage in business for himself, and rented a 
farm of L. L. Smith, which place he managed successfully for two 



years. Renting a farm at the expiration of that time of Mr. S. 8. 
Gates, he pursued the occupation of farming and management of 
stock for three years longer. Firmly believing that it was more 
profitable to own his own land than to pay rent to a landlord, he 
purchased ninety acres, ten of which were timber, the balance of 
the land was raw prairie, upon which neither house nor fence had 
ever stood, but Mr. Lye made the purchase upon advantageous 
terms. His bank account at that time consisted of $100 in cash, 
the whole of which was paid upon the land, and an agreement 
entered into to raise each year twenty acres of wheat, which, when 
threshed, became the property of the person to whom the land be- 
longed. A rude cabin 16x24 was built, and Mr. Lye lined the 
inside with brick to keep out the cold. Both worked like slaves, 
as they were $2,400 in debt when their first payment was made. 
From time to time his possessions were added to until his acres 
numbered 294. By this time from being owner of only two cows 
and one calf when purchasing the first tract of land, his herds and 
flocks had largely increased, and no more prosperous farmer could 
be found in the country than Mr. Lye. Both himself and wife are 
numbered among the most charitable persons in the neighborhood, 
and those in need have never been turned empty handed away. 
Never having had children of their own, they have reared to man 
and womanhood two children, both of whom are highly respected 
and worthy persons. The longevity of the family from whom Mrs. 
Lye is a descendant is remarkable. Her mother was ninety-two 
years of age at the time of her death; Jonathan Rider, her brother, 
was ninety-five, and her father eighty-four at the time of decease. 
Mrs. Lye is a representative of one of the early settlers of Mc- 
Henry County, as her Grandfather and Grandmother Newman and 
Sallie Hicks emigrated from Allegany County, N. T., to Algon- 
quin Township in 1840. Mr. Lye recently sold one tract of land 
for $1,100, and yet retains a homestead of 140 acres, upon which 
are an elegant residence, fine barns and out-buildings, with excel- 
lent arrangements for conveniencies in handling his stock. In ad- 
dition to his farm work he keeps a dairy of sixty-five milch cows, 
from which a substantial revenue is derived. Men who have earned 
a better record for honesty and uprightness than Mr. Lye are very 
scarce in any country. Of his parentage but little need be said. 
He is descended from a family who were second to none in the 
district in which they lived, and were Henry and Jane (Elgie 
Lye yet living, they could truthfully say : The son whom we 


^fe ^ .___^Z=±K. 


so tenderly love is the delight of our hearth and comfort of our 
years. If here be taken into consideration that $120 was the sura 
total of their wealth when first coming to Elgin, the success Mr. 
and Mrs. Lye had 'in a financial way seems almost phenomenal. 
Honor and energy have done for them a perfect work, and of a truth 
it may be said, that Mr. Lye is a self-made man. The portraits of 
Mr. and Mrs. Lye appear in this work, and none are more worthy 
to represent the prominent agriculturists than they, for a lo 
lifetime has been spent in such service, and nobly has their part 
been performed. 

Thompson L. Morris is a native of New York, born in Chemung 
County, in 1836, the son of Ezekiel and Nancy Ann (Barack) Morris, 
natives of New Jersey. He came to McHenry County with his par- 
ents in 1846, making the journey with teams and covered wagons 
in twenty-eight days. His father died in 1852 and his mother in 
1865, and are buried in Crystal Lake Cemetery. He was married 
in 1862 to MaryS. Lincoln, daughter of Apollos and Melissa (Wait) 
Lincoln, who came from Genesee County, N. Y, to McHenry 
County, 111., in 1846. They have had five children ; but two are liv- 
ing— Kichard B. and Mary E. Freddie, Omar, and an infant are 
deceased. Mr. Morris received a good education and became a suc- 
cessful teacher. Taught his first school in Scott County in 1857, 
and his last in Seneca, in 1875. In the winter of 1862 was em- 
ployed in the Crystal Lake school, assisted by his wife. His wi e 
commenced her teaching in 1857, and has taught fifty terms, all in 
McHenry County. Mr. Morris is a strict temperance man; be- 
came a member of the Good Templars in 1864. He has been a 
successful farmer, now owns forty acres of choice land, thirty-two 
acres under good cultivation. His residence and farm buildings 
are well located and commodious. He is a man of Christian in 
tegrity, a member of the Free Methodist church, and a staunch 
Bepublican in politics. 

Edward Morton was born in Sing Sing, N. Y., Aug. 18, 1821, 
a son of Bobert and Margaret Morton, natives of Ireland, the 
former born Nov. 14, 1791, and the latter Dec. 9, 1798. They came 
to America in their early life, married and settled in Westchester 
County, N. Y., and in 1847 moved to Algonquin, McHenry 
Co., 111., where the mother died Jan. 28, 1869, and the father 
March 31, 1880. They had a family of eleven children— Rachel, 
Edward, Charles, David, Margaret Ann, Mary, Jane, Elizabeth, 
Bobert, John, Elnour and William. Edward remained in his na- 


tive State till 1849, and then moved to Illinois and bought a farm 
of eighty acres, to which he has added from time to time till he 
owned 300 acres of the best land in the county. In November, 
1883, he sold his farm and moved to Algonquin, where he now 
lives retired from active business. He was married Nov. 27 
1842, to Charlotte Brewer, who was born March 16, 1821, a 
daughter of James and Mary (Purdy) Brewer, natives of New 
York, her father of German and her mother of Swiss-German 
descent. Mr. and Mrs. Morton have had seven children ; but four 
are living — Edward; Charlotte J., wife of Henry Keys; Charles 
"W. ; and Seraphina, wife of D. W. Thomas. Their second child, 
Charlotte J., died at the age of two years; Mary E., at the age of 
twenty-three years, and George, aged six years. Politically Mr. 
Morton is a liberal Kepublican. He has served his township as 
Road Commissioner two years. 

S. H. Nash was born in Portage Township, Livingston Co., 
N. Y., a son of Edgar J. and Esther (Olmstead) Nash. In 1853 
he came to Illinois, and in 1854 settled on the farm where he now 
lives. He owns eighty-three acres of land, seventy acres being 
under cultivation. He runs a small dairy, having the Jersey 
graded cows. His father came to McHenry County in 1853 and 
died in 1883. His mother died in Portage, N. Y., 1840. His 
maternal grandparents, Silas and Penninah (Hickok) Olmstead 
both died in this county, the former in 1870 and the latter in 1883. 
Mr. Nash was married in 1863 to Mary J. Simpson, daughter of 
Squire and Elvira (Whitmore) Simpson, both of whom are de- 
ceased. They have two children — Clara M., born in 1863, and 
Charles E., born in 1871, both at home. Politically Mr. Nash is a 
Republican. He and his wife are members of the Congregational 

Willi ami A. Nason, M. D., is a native of Maine, born in Hal- 
lowell, June 21, 1841, a son of William and Mary A. (Wingate) 
Nason. His paternal ancestors were of Scotch-English descent, 
and earlier still were Romans, going to England at the time of the 
Roman conquest. Some of his ancestors were friends] of Shakes- 
peare, and their names are carved on the wall with his. Their 
names and date of death are carved on the old church walls; one — 
Steven Nason, was Vicar of the parish and died in 1787, aged 
sixty-nine years; another is Mary, wife of Robert Nason. Some 
members of the family came to America in an early day and set- 
tled in Maine, where many of the descendants now live. His pa- 



•history of mo henky county. 4.11 

ternal grandfather, Bartholomew Nason, was one of the most 
prominent men of his county. His family consisted of eight chil- 
dren — Elizabeth; Edward, still a Deacon in the church in Augusta; 
William; Henry; Hannah, wife of John Norton, of New York 
City; Elias, for many years a merchant of Fall River, Mass., now 
of Minnesota; Martha, wife of O. F. Santford, of Boston, Mass., 
and Frederick, of Hallowell, Me. William was born in Augusta, 
Me., and has been a prominent business man of Boston, Buffalo, 
Chicago, Bloomfield, N. J., and Alpena, Mich. He was at one 
time a Director of the Board of Trade, Chicago. He is now living 
retired at Alpena, He married Mary A. Wingate, a de- 
scendant of the Stevens and Wingate families of Massachusetts. 
They had a family of five children — William A.; Edward, a mem- 
ber of the Board of Trade, Chicago ; Elizabeth ; Mary, wife of 
William H. Johnson, of Alpena, Mich., and Carrie, who died in 
1855. William A. was four years of age when his parents moved 
to Boston. He attended the public schools and finished the gram- 
mar department. When sixteen they went to Buffalo and he en- 
tered the High School there and prepared for college. In 
the fall of 1859 he entered Williams College, Williamstown, 
Mass., and graduated in the summer of 1864. In the fall of 1864 
he began the study of medicine with Dr. R. N. Isham, remaining 
with him two years. In the meantime he served as House Physi- 
cian and Surgeon of the United States Marine Hospital, Chicago, 
and attended two full courses at the Chicago Medical College, 
graduating in the spring of 1866. In the fall of 1866 he went to 
New York and entered the Bellevue Hospital College, remaining 
till February, 1867. He was then appointed United States Assist- 
ant Surgeon, and took charge of the hospital at Gordonsville, Va. 
Five months later he was transferred to Yorktown, Va., and had 
charge of the Government hospital till February, 1868. While 
there he quartered in an old house, built of brick brought from 
England by the British during the Bevolution. In 1868 he came 
to Illinois, and after a short stay in Chicago located in Algonquin, 
where he now has a large practice. He is one of the most success- 
ful physicians of the county, and stands at the head of the profes- 
sion. He is President of the McHenry County Druggists Associa- 
ion. He early took an interest in scientific research, and when in 
school began a collection of insects, shells and botanical specimens. 
His cabinet is valued at several hundreds of dollars. He has a 
talent for literary pursuits which places him in the front ranks, and 





is a frequent contributor to many of the popular journals. He 
has very large medical, scientific and miscellaneous library. June 
29, 1874, Dr. Nason was married to Anna, daughter of William 
and Elizabeth Goodson. They hare three children — Mary E., 
William Edward and Charles. In his political views the Doctor 
is a Republican, He has been a mpmber of the Masonic fraternity 
several years. 

John Peters was born in New York in 1842, a son of John and 
Margaret (Turnbull) Peters, natives of Dundee, Scotland, who 
came to the United States in 1842. They stopped a short time in 
New York and then came West and resided in the towns of Bloom 
and Elk Grove, Cook Co., 111., till death. The mother died in 1861 
and the father iu 1876. They had a family of seven children; two 
died in infancy and five are living — John; David, of Arlington 
Heights, 111. ; George S., of Colorado; James C, of Chicago; Mar- 
garet, wife af G. P. Tewksbury, of Arlington Heights. John was 
reared and educated in Arlington Heights. In 1868 he went to 
Caledonia, 111., and engaged in the hardware business a year. He 
then came to Algonquin and opened a hardware store, with which 
he has since combined the lumber and coal business, in partner- 
ship with John Helm, the firm name being Helm & Peters. He 
is also a member of the firm Peters & Coltrin, dealers in dry-goods, 
groceries, crockery and general merchandise. Mr. Peters was 
married in 1871 to Lida M. Helm, daughter of John and Sarah 
(Tuthill) Helm, of Chicago. They have three children — Grace H., 
Edward C. and Willis T., all at home. 

Robert Phillips was born in Bucks County, Pa., June 1, 1797, 
a son of Thomas and Sarah (Eastburn) Phillips, natives of Pennsyl- 
vania. His paternal ancestors were of English descent. In an 
early day two brothers, Robert and James, were persuaded to go on 
board a vessel, bound for America, and before they were aware of 
the fact she set sail. When they reached America the boys were 
sold to a planter. Robert's son, Aaron, the grandfather of our 
subject, was a millwright and built the first mill on the Delaware 
River. It is still in possession of the family; now run by the 
fourth generation. His maternal grandfather, Robert Eastburn, 
was a Quaker farmer, and at his death was very wealthy. Our 
subject's parents had a family of eight children — Elizabeth, married 
Aaron Paxton; Aaron, Mary, Moses, Thomas, Robert, Samuel, 
David. Robert remained in his native country and followed mill- 
ing after leaving school till 1847, when he moved to Illinois and 



located in Algonquin Township, McHenry County, where he has 
since resided. He was married March 3, 1831, to Naomi, daugh- 
ter of William and Ose Garrison, natives of New Jersey. They 
have six children — Edward, born April 7, 1832, is a physician of 
Cape May, N. J. He married Jennie Spinning who died and left 
one child — Kussell'F. In September, 1868, he married Anna Hughes, 
by whom he has four children — Walter H., Edward, Albert and 
Willet. Willet, born June 11, 1843, was married Dec. 24, 1862,to- 
Melinda Balch,and has two children— Nettie E., born Dec. 14,1863; 
Fred E., born May 14, 1869. Harriet, born M rch 20, 1836, was 
drowned when a child. Maria, born July 1, 1839, married Isaac 
Griswold and died Nov. 28, 1877, leaving six children. Emma, 
born Feb. 19, 1844, married William Sorter and has one child — 
Kobert G. Howard, born June 26, 1846, married Frilla Adams, 
and has two children — Eobert K, born Sept. 6, 1870, and Walter 
L., born Sept. 6, 1874. Politically Mr. Phillips is a Republican. 
Mrs. Phillips's great-grandmother, Elizabeth Douglas, was the 
daughter of Lord Douglas, of Edinburgh, Scotland. She ran away 
from home to get married, but not meeting her betrothed was 
sold in America for her passage. She was bought by Lewis Fort- 
ner and after serving her time was married to his son, Benjamin 
Fortner. Mrs. Phillips's mother died in 1814 and her father in 
1833. They had a family of five children— John R. P.; Ura, wife 
of Walter Kellman; Abigail, wife of John Sorter; Sarah, wife of 
Spencer S. Weart; and Naomi. 

James thilp was born in Cornwall, England, Oct. 28, 1828, a 
son of John and Philippa (Hooper) Philp, natives of England. 
His father was born May 2, 1797, and died Nov. 10, 1876. His 
mother was born Sept. 9, 1799, and died May 11, 1879. His great- 
grandparents, John and Susannah Philp, were farmers of Pemrose, 
Parish of St. Bernard. They had a family of four children — John, 
Eichard, Hugh and Robert. The latter was born in 1773, and 
died in 1848. He had two children — Ann, wife of William May, 
and John, the father of James. The maternal great-grandfather of 
Mr. Philp was John Hooper. His grandfather, James Hooper, 
was a native of St. Tudy, and one of the wealthiest men of the 
place. He had a large family, one of whom was Philippa, mother 
of our subject. John and Philippa Philp had a family of three 
children — James; Elizabeth, who died in England in 1850, aged 
eighteen years, and Robert now of Nnnda, 111. James Philp 
spent his boyhood in his native town. When twelve years of age 


he began to learn the shoemaker's trade of his father and worked 
at it four years. When sixteen years of age he wanted to go to 
sea but his parents objected; he then learned the blacksmith's trade 
and worked at it till 1851, when he came to America. He em- 
barked in August and after a voyage of forty-eight days landed 
in Quebec, Oct. 1. From there went to Toronto and thence to Al- 
gonquin, reaching this place Oct. 12, where he remained till the 
next spring, when lie went to Chicago and worked a short time 
for H. A. Pitts. Inducements were offered him to settle in Algon- 
quin which he accepted, and carried on a carriage manufactory 
twenty years. Since then he has dealt extensively in real estate, 
buying and selling for himself and on commission for others. In 
1883 he handled $50,000 worth of property. He has been associ- 
ated with the Algonquin Fire Insurance Company since its organ- 
ization. He has been Justice of the Peace sixteen years and 
School Director and Trustee several years. July 12, 1849, he was 
married to Jane, daughter of James and Ann Cornelius, of Eng- 
land. They have had six children — Elizabeth, wife of Edward 
Chapel; Volney,of Canton, Kas; Jennie, died in 1874,aged twenty 
years; James H., of the firm Wenholtz & Philp; Thomas and An- 
nie. Politically Mr. Philp is a Republican. 

Ephriam Seymour was born in New York in 1815, a son of 
John and Elizabeth (Wright) Seymour. He was married to Mary, 
daughter of Joseph and Ruth (Wright) Patterson, in Tyrone, Steu- 
ben County, New York, on the 6th of April, 1836. He came to 
Illinois in 1841, and stopped at Miller's Grove, Cook County, 
where he remained six months. He then came to McHenry 
County aiiJ located on Crystal Lake Prairie, on the farm now 
occupied by his son Joseph. He has a fine farm of 167 acres 
which is well improved. He is one of the oldest citizens of the 
county, and an honest and influential man in the community in 
which he lives. They have had eight children — Huldah, wife of 
Giles Seward; Henry (deceased); Martha E, wife of Judson Snooke; 
Joseph; Alice, wife of Henry Edick; John; Ephriam H., married 
Rhoda M. Arvedson; Mary E., wife of Harvey Peacock. 

Robert Shufeldt was born in Albany County, N. Y., in 1839, 
a son of Harmon and Marietta (Jones) Shufeldt. His father died 
in 1871; his mother lives in Barrington, Cook Co., 111. They 
had a family of nine children — Amelia died March 10, 1866, aged 
fifteen years; Theodore enlisted in the Fifty-second Illinois In- 
fantry, and died at Memphis, Tenn., from the effects of measles 

' 1/ i : — : f 


March 9, 1864, aged nineteen years; Marietta married Albert 
Meade, of Saline County, Neb. ; Henry married Martha Long, 
lives in Stanley, Kas. ; Hiram, now of Saline County, Neb., 
married Margaret Love; George and Lester live in Mound City, 
Mo.; Charles and Emma live in Barrington, 111.; Robert is the 
only one residing in McHenry County. He was married March 
6, 1861, to Excy, daughter of Henry and Dollie (Edwards) Claw- 
son. They have six children — Ellen, born Jan. 26, 1863; Herbert, 
Nov. 22, 1864; Flora, May 19, 1866; George, Feb. 15, 1868; 
Robert F., Oct. 8, 1869, and Frederick, March 27, 1871. Mr. Shu- 
feldt's parents came to Illinois in 1854, but soon after moved to 
Butler County, Kas., where the father died. In 1872 Robert 
Shufeldt came to McHenry County, and settled on the farm where 
he now lives. He owns a fine farm of 260 acres and carries on a 
dairy of forty cows. 

Ji. R. Sherwood was born in New York in 1799, a son of 
Zeddick and Abigail Sherwood, natives of New York. His father 
was a teamster in the Revolutionary war. In later life he moved 
to Illinois, where he died July 6, 1859, within two months of 100 
years old. R. R. Sherwood was a farmer, and while in New York 
was Superintendent of the Geneva Canal. He came to Illinois in 
1844 and died in McHenry County, June 18, 1884. He married 
Polly Brunson, of Amsterdam, N. Y., and to them were born six 
children — Granville, born in 1824, came to Illinois with his father, 
but subsequently went to Galveston, Texas; Anson, now ot 
Detroit, Mich. ; James A., born April 23, 1830; Harriet, wife ol 
Jorten Forbes, of Michigan; N. B., a veteran of the Rebellion, 
enlisted as private in Company H, Thirty-sixth Illinois Infantry, 
and was promoted to First Lieutenant. He received a wound at 
Stone River which eventually caused his death. He died in Feb- 
ruary, 1882, leaving a wife and one child. David B. is an attor- 
ney of Elgin. Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood reared an adopted son. 
James A. Sherwood came with his father to Illinois and remained 
in Algonquin a year. He then went West, and after reaching 
manhood began auctioneering. He is now one of the best auc- 
tioneers in the State. In January, 1859, he was married to Esther, 
daughter of Joseph and Lucy Grant, of Michigan. Politically he 
was a Democrat, as was also his father. He is a member of the 
Masonic fraternity. 

8. M. Thomas was born in Genesee County, N. Y., April 25, 
1817, a son of Abiah and Polly Thomas, natives of Vermont, of 


"Welsh and Scotch descent. In the spring of 1835 he came "West 
and worked on a farm near Algonquin three years. He then 
carried on a hotel at Algonquin a short time, and subsequently 
engaged in farming till 1872, when he retired to a more quiet 
life. He was married in 1842 to Almira, daughter of Joshua and 
Mary French. They have three children — Albert, engineer at 
Danville, 111.; Mamie, and Lemuel, conductor on the Chicago 
& Northwestern Railroad. Politically Mr. Thomas is a 

W. P. Thompson is a native of Louisiana, born in 1842, a son 
of William and Katie (Bristol) Thompson. His mother died in 
Louisiana. His father removed to Chicago, aDd was drowned in 
the Chicago River, in 1849. He was a contractor, and built the 
first packing house in that city for Huff & Co. W. P. Thompson 
has been a resident of McHenry County since 1880. He bought 
that year the farm of Mrs. Allen, which contains 240 acres of good 
land. Some of the best springs in the county are on this farm; 
one, near the house, furnishes an abundant supply of water for 
all their needs. Mr. Thompson carries on a large creamery, 
making 12,000 pounds of butter per year, which commands the 
highest market price in New York City. He has a herd of seventy 
cows, of the best grades. He owned a large flouring mill five 
stories high, situated on Rock River, Dixon, 111., whic was 
totally destroyed by fire in 1880. It had a capacity of grinding 
from 250 to 300 barrels per day. The wheat was obtained from 
Dakota and Southern Illinois and the flour found a ready market 
in all parts of the world, the majority of it being shipped to Scot- 
land and London. Mr. Thompson enlisted in 1861, and served till 
the close of the war. For two years he kept the Government 
books, remaining at his post at a time when 275 were dying of 
yellow fever in a day. His brother, James E. Thompson, served 
during the war, under the command of Major Cheney, and par- 
ticipated in the battles of Island No. 10, Vicksburg, Shiloh, 
Atlanta and others. At Atlanta he was called on to dislodge a 
rebel battery, and was awarded a gold medal by General Sherman 
for his bravery. In 1871 W. P. Thompson was married to Aurora, 
daughter of Henry and Almina (Moon) Coe. They have three 
children— Nora A., Edward H. and William C. 

Thomas Whittaker was born in Canada in 1818, a son of Samuel 
and Jane (Blythe) Whittaker, who were of English descent. In 
1824 his parents moved to New York City where his mother died 

:^i_ - — »■■*• 


in 1827. His father died in 1859. He served an apprenticeship 
at the brass founder's trade and in 1843 opened a foundry on 
Church and Reed streets, New York, remaining in business till 
1849, when he came to Illinois and settled on the farm where he 
now lives. He owns 120 acres of fine land, and runs a dairy of 
twenty cows. Mr. Whittaker has been School Director twenty-five 
years. In his political views he is Independent. 




The Smallest Town in the County. — Early Settlement. — 
Events of Pioneek Life. — A Yankee Settler Among English- 
men. — Early Schools, Postoffices, Meetings, etc. — First 
Township Election. — Changing the Name of the Town. — 
Spring Grove. — Churches. — Biographical. 

Burton is the smallest town in the county, consisting of but 
one-third of congressional township 46, range 9. The township 
is drained by Nippersink Creek, and contains good farms and im- 

Burton is one of the oldest settled towns in the county. It 
was settled by Englishmen, and the name English